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The Effects of Gamification in Online Learning Environments: A Systematic Literature Review

Welten Institute–Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, Open University of The Netherlands, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands
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Current address: Valkenburgerweg, 177, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030032
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
Gamification has recently been presented as a successful strategy to engage users, with potential for online education. However, while the number of publications on gamification has been increasing in recent years, a classification of its empirical effects is still missing. We present a systematic literature review conducted with the purpose of closing this gap by clarifying what effects gamification generates on users’ behaviour in online learning. Based on the studies analysed, the game elements most used in the literature are identified and mapped with the effects they produced on learners. Furthermore, we cluster these empirical effects of gamification into six areas: performance, motivation, engagement, attitude towards gamification, collaboration, and social awareness. The findings of our systematic literature review point out that gamification and its application in online learning and in particular in Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are still a young field, lacking in empirical experiments and evidence with a tendency of using gamification mainly as external rewards. Based on these results, important considerations for the gamification design of MOOCs are drawn. View Full-Text
Keywords: gamification; game elements; online learning; MOOCs; empirical studies; systematic literature review gamification; game elements; online learning; MOOCs; empirical studies; systematic literature review
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Antonaci, A.; Klemke, R.; Specht, M. The Effects of Gamification in Online Learning Environments: A Systematic Literature Review. Informatics 2019, 6, 32.

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