Special Issue "Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Computing and Artificial Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 July 2023 | Viewed by 4909

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sandra Gama
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-004 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: HCI (human–computer interaction); human factors in HCI; information visualization; gamification; BCI (brain–computer interfaces)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is devoted to the use of game elements in educational settings, known as gamification. Traditional learning settings need to be replaced by more dynamic and adaptable experiences. Given the potential of game elements to provide engagement in general, gamification has proven itself as a very strong tool in educational settings.

Taking into account the broad spectrum of gamification in education, and the ramifications in which this thematic can present itself, different approaches are more than welcome. Thematics such as gamification frameworks, formal experiments, case studies, and game mechanisms analysis and evaluation will provide interesting and relevant contributions to this issue, providing the educational community with tools to further enhance learning processes and, consequently, student success.

Prof. Dr. Sandra Gama
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • gamification
  • gamification in education
  • game mechanisms
  • game engagement
  • game profiles in education

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Evaluating Learner Engagement with Gamification in Online Courses
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13031535 - 24 Jan 2023
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Several reasons underlie the low retention rates in MOOCs. These reasons can be analysed from different perspectives, either in terms of the course design or the enrolled students. On the student side, we find little social interaction, boredom, tiredness, and a lack of [...] Read more.
Several reasons underlie the low retention rates in MOOCs. These reasons can be analysed from different perspectives, either in terms of the course design or the enrolled students. On the student side, we find little social interaction, boredom, tiredness, and a lack of motivation and time. These challenges can be addressed by adaptive gamification that proposes the design of personalised, hedonic learning experiences. Studies to date have adopted either the one-fits-all approach or the adaptive approach. Nevertheless, the adaptive solutions have considered a static player profile throughout the entire experience. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a dynamic adaptive gamification approach which—based on students’ interactions with game elements and also their opinions about these elements—dynamically updates the students’ player profile to better figure out which game elements suit them. We evaluated the engagement of students with gamification elements by means of a course composed of a knowledge "pill" related to the topic of “recycling plastics from the sea”, offered through the nanoMOOCs learning platform. We propose metrics such as the mean number of interactions with the gamification dashboard, the time spent by participants with game elements, and the opinions of students about these elements to compare the Dynamic Adaptive Gamification (DynamicAG) and the Static Adaptive (StaticAG) approaches. An experimental study with 66 high school students showed significant differences between both approaches. Specifically, the DynamicAG group spent twice as much time with the Dashboard than the StaticAG group. Moreover, students in the DynamicAG group were more engaged with game elements (mean number of interactions = 12.13) than those in the StaticAG group (mean number of interactions = 3.21). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
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Article
Exploring the Online Gamified Learning Intentions of College Students: A Technology-Learning Behavior Acceptance Model
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(24), 12966; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122412966 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
With the popularity of online education, multiple technology-based educational tools are gradually being introduced into online learning. The role of gamification in online education has been of interest to researchers. Based on learners’ visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles, this study uses [...] Read more.
With the popularity of online education, multiple technology-based educational tools are gradually being introduced into online learning. The role of gamification in online education has been of interest to researchers. Based on learners’ visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles, this study uses an empirical research method to investigate the behavioral intention of students to participate in online gamified classrooms in selected universities located in Guangdong province and Macao. The main contributions of this study are to focus on the impact that differences in learning styles may have on the behavioral intentions of learners and to include the “perceived learning task” as an external variable in the theoretical framework. The main research findings are: perceived usefulness and enjoyment are partially mediated between VAK learning styles and the intention to participate in online gamified classrooms; and perceived learning tasks are partially mediated between perceived usefulness and the intention to participate in online gamified classrooms. According to the findings and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), this study constructs the Technology-Learning Behavior Acceptance Model (T-LBAM) to explore the intrinsic influencing factors of students’ intention to participate in gamified online classes and makes suggestions for future online gamification teaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
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Article
Gaming and Resilience: Teaching by Playing Together—Online Educational Competition at School during the Pandemic
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(23), 11931; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122311931 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Educational and training initiatives for natural hazard reduction, climate change, and environmental sustainability are increasingly common. We describe educational games in which the protagonist, a fictional character girl, saves herself and others from natural disasters. This girl faces risk situations, from earthquake to [...] Read more.
Educational and training initiatives for natural hazard reduction, climate change, and environmental sustainability are increasingly common. We describe educational games in which the protagonist, a fictional character girl, saves herself and others from natural disasters. This girl faces risk situations, from earthquake to flood to environmental challenges, and for each of these she is the protagonist of educational quizzes and of an escape room. These games were designed and played online during the COVID-19 pandemic, to introduce an engaging activity, reducing the difficulties of both students and teachers in distance learning. Simultaneous challenges between several classes were played during special scientific events, with a total of more than 8000 students flanked by about 500 teachers, always with very positive feedback. We pooled our knowledge to embrace innovation in gamification at school. Our games aim at increasing the response capacity of future more resilient citizens to protect themselves and others, adapting to natural risks, and to spread good practices in support of the civil protection. Each online race between classes from primary and middle school (ISCDE 2) is based on cooperative learning and followed by an important debriefing moment of reflective learning, guided by researchers to deeply analyze scientific topics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
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Article
Gamified Digital Game-Based Learning as a Pedagogical Strategy: Student Academic Performance and Motivation
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(21), 11214; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122111214 - 05 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1362
Abstract
Digital game-based learning (DGBL) and Gamification are emerging methodological strategies in education. This research aims to analyze the effects on academic performance and motivation after an experience combining DGBL and Gamification in university students. The sample comprises 126 students, of whom 38 were [...] Read more.
Digital game-based learning (DGBL) and Gamification are emerging methodological strategies in education. This research aims to analyze the effects on academic performance and motivation after an experience combining DGBL and Gamification in university students. The sample comprises 126 students, of whom 38 were in the experimental group. Three measurement instruments have been used: an evaluative test to measure academic performance, the Questionnaire on Motivation for Cooperative Playful Learning Strategies (CMELAC) and a questionnaire with three open-ended questions, which complement the measurement of motivation. This analysis is conducted using independent sample t-tests. We undertook a Bonferroni adjustment to the alpha level (new p = 0.017). The results show significant differences in academic performance between the control and experimental groups. Motivation shows high values among all participants. No significant differences were found between the two experimental subgroups when the competition was added to the dynamics. In conclusion, the results of the present study support the gamified DGBL method as an exciting teaching tool that corresponds to students’ active learning and provide valuable immediate feedback on students’ attempts, improvements in academic performance and a high level of motivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
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Article
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games: Effect of Gamification on Future Physical Education Teachers
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9459; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199459 - 21 Sep 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Gamification is a new methodological tool in the field of physical education and sports sciences, which seeks to generate a formative change in educational centers and in the training of future teachers. The aim of the research was to analyze the effect of [...] Read more.
Gamification is a new methodological tool in the field of physical education and sports sciences, which seeks to generate a formative change in educational centers and in the training of future teachers. The aim of the research was to analyze the effect of gamification on motivation, basic psychological needs and cooperative learning of prospective physical education teachers. The sample consisted of 102 future teachers in the specific area of physical education and sport. Three measuring instruments were used: Motivational Situation Scale, Cooperative Learning Questionnaire and Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education Scale. The significance level (p < 0.05) was determined according to the variables described. The results were analyzed with the Kruskal–Wallis test for the variables age and study group and the Mann–Whitney U-test for gender. The results show high values for basic psychological needs, motivation and cooperative learning. In the case of cooperative learning, gamification has a different behavior according to gender. By degree, gamification does not affect the degree of study in the same way. In conclusion, the results of the present study support the use of gamification in the training of future physical education teachers, as it is associated with increased levels of students’ intrinsic and self-determined motivation, basic psychological needs and cooperative learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
Article
Combining Gamification and Augmented Reality to Raise Interest in Logistics Careers
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(18), 9066; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12189066 - 09 Sep 2022
Viewed by 666
Abstract
The logistics and transport industry is currently facing the major challenge of having a global shortage of skilled workers. To address this challenge, this paper evaluates the application of gamification in combination with augmented reality (AR) as a new approach to attract the [...] Read more.
The logistics and transport industry is currently facing the major challenge of having a global shortage of skilled workers. To address this challenge, this paper evaluates the application of gamification in combination with augmented reality (AR) as a new approach to attract the interest of people of all ages to the logistics sector. The aim of the paper is to determine whether a gamified AR-based application called Logistify is a feasible approach to make logistics jobs more attractive. We used a qualitative approach in three phases by collecting and analysing data from different perspectives of players, teachers, instructors, and programmers about the application: (1) analysing game characteristics with programmers and workshops instructors, (2) collecting feedback from players and teachers, and (3) evaluating game scores. The evaluation shows that gamification in combination with augmented reality is a promising tool to attract people to the logistics sector and to change their perception of logistics professions. It can be concluded that the gamified AR approach is capable of increasing interest in jobs in a particular sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamification and Data-Driven Approaches in Education)
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