Special Issue "Gamification and Advanced Technology to Enhance Motivation in Education"

A special issue of Informatics (ISSN 2227-9709).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Faraón Llorens-Largo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence,University of Alicante,03690 Alicante, Spain
Interests: artificial intelligence; video game development; gamification; application of digital technologies to education and IT governance
Prof. Dr. Rafael Molina-Carmona

Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Alicante,03690 Alicante, Spain
Interests: artificial intelligence applications in different fields: computer-aided design and manufacturing, computer graphics, learning, creativity, information representation and IT governance

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Motivation is the driving force behind many human activities, particularly learning. Motivated students are ready to make a significant mental effort and use deeper and more effective learning strategies. Some of the fundamental attributes of learning strategies that enhance motivation are:

  • Experimentation or learning by doing.
  • Interactivity and immediate feedback.
  • Allow and naturalize the error.
  • Give control to the learner.

Gamification is a means to obtain motivation by incorporating the use of strategies, models, dynamics, mechanics and game elements in a learning context. But it is not the only way. Other technologies can provide users with motivation by introducing the aforementioned learning strategies.

This Special Issue aims to promote innovative ideas, theories, models, approaches, technologies, systems, projects, best practices, case studies, ethical studies and products in the area of advanced technologies to enhance motivation in education. Submissions should present empirical and/or theoretical advances on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Gamification
  • Serious games
  • Game design applied to education
  • Smart learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Advanced interfaces for learning

Prof. Dr. Faraón Llorens-Largo
Prof. Dr. Rafael Molina-Carmona
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Informatics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Gamification
  • Serious games
  • Educational games
  • Game design
  • Smart learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Personalized learning
  • Virtual reality
  • Augmented reality
  • Natural language interfaces
  • Intelligent tutoring
  • Motivation
  • Collaborative learning
  • Social networks
  • Ubiquitous learning
  • E-learning.
  • Smart evaluation
  • Automatic evaluation
  • Automatic feedback
  • Learning style assessment
  • Smart classrooms
  • Smart products for learning

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Gamification and Advanced Technology to Enhance Motivation in Education
Informatics 2020, 7(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics7020020 - 23 Jun 2020
Abstract
The aim of this Special Issue is to compile a set of research works that highlight the use of gamification and other advanced technologies as powerful tools for motivation during learning. We have been fortunate to obtain a representative sample of the current [...] Read more.
The aim of this Special Issue is to compile a set of research works that highlight the use of gamification and other advanced technologies as powerful tools for motivation during learning. We have been fortunate to obtain a representative sample of the current research activity in this field. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Serious Games, Mental Images, and Participatory Mapping: Reflections on a Set of Enabling Tools for Capacity Building
Informatics 2020, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics7010007 - 03 Mar 2020
Abstract
Increasing complexity of societal questions requires participatory processes that engage with capable participants. We adopted Horellis’ stance on participation as not an isolated event but a constant communication between different groups that can be assured by using enabling tools. We applied the Capability [...] Read more.
Increasing complexity of societal questions requires participatory processes that engage with capable participants. We adopted Horellis’ stance on participation as not an isolated event but a constant communication between different groups that can be assured by using enabling tools. We applied the Capability Approach to frame a capacity-building process and understand how this framework can support a collective of entrepreneurs to become aware of their capabilities (and the impact of an ongoing urban renewal process on these capabilities). The Capability Approach emphasizes the personal and structural conditions that impact a person’s capability to choose—the conditions that affect the process of determining what a person values. The paper builds on a two year capacity-building process conducted in Genk, Belgium, and proposes a conceptual framework for building capacities, in which the process and outputs collide with ideas of choice, ability, and opportunity, notions central to the Capability Approach. The case study looks at one of the main commercial streets of the city (Vennestraat) and reflects on a set of enabling artefacts used to engage proprietors in the capacity-building process. This capacity-building process, characterized by the idea of space and capabilities, advances a critical viewpoint on issues related to participatory processes and gives practitioners a set of enabling tools to start a conversation over complex urban transformations, such as the one in Vennestraat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Guide for Game-Design-Based Gamification
Informatics 2019, 6(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6040049 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Many researchers consider Gamification as a powerful way to improve education. Many studies show improvements with respect to traditional methodologies. Several educational strategies have also been combined with Gamification with interesting results. Interest is growing and evidence suggest Gamification has a promising future. [...] Read more.
Many researchers consider Gamification as a powerful way to improve education. Many studies show improvements with respect to traditional methodologies. Several educational strategies have also been combined with Gamification with interesting results. Interest is growing and evidence suggest Gamification has a promising future. However, there is a barrier preventing many researchers from properly understanding Gamification principles. Gamification focuses of engaging trainees in learning with same intensity that games engage players on playing. But only some very well designed games achieve this level of engagement. Designing truly entertaining games is a difficult task with a great artistic component. Although some studies have tried to clarify how Game Design produces fun, there is no scientific consensus. Well established knowledge on Game Design resides in sets of rules of thumb and good practices, based on empirical experience. Game industry professionals acquire this experience through practice. Most educators and researchers often overlook the need for such experience to successfully design Gamification. And so, many research papers focus on single game-elements like points, present non-gaming activities like questionnaires, design non-engaging activities or fail to comprehend the underlying principles on why their designs do not yield expected results. This work presents a rubric for educators and researchers to start working in Gamification without previous experience in Game Design. This rubric decomposes the continuous space of Game Design into a set of ten discrete characteristics. It is aimed at diminishing the entry barrier and helping to acquire initial experience with Game Design fundamentals. The main proposed uses are twofold: to analyse existing games or gamified activities gaining a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and to help in the design or improvement of activities. Focus is on Game Design characteristics rather than game elements, similarly to professional game designers. The goal is to help gaining experience towards designing successful Gamification environments. Presented rubric is based on our previous design experience, compared and contrasted with literature, and empirically tested with some example games and gamified activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Usability and Engagement Study for a Serious Virtual Reality Game of Lunar Exploration Missions
Informatics 2019, 6(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6040044 - 03 Oct 2019
Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have opened new possibilities for creating engaging educational games. This paper presents a serious VR game that immerses players into the activities of lunar exploration missions in a virtual environment. We designed and implemented the VR game with the [...] Read more.
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have opened new possibilities for creating engaging educational games. This paper presents a serious VR game that immerses players into the activities of lunar exploration missions in a virtual environment. We designed and implemented the VR game with the goal of increasing players’ interest in space science. The game motivates players to learn more about historical facts of space missions that astronauts performed on the Moon in the 1970s. We studied usability and engagement of the game through user experience in both VR and non-VR versions of the game. The experimental results show that the VR version improved their engagement and enhanced the interest of players in learning more about the events of lunar exploration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Company–University Collaboration in Applying Gamification to Learning about Insurance
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030042 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Incorporating gamification into training–learning at universities is hampered by a shortage of quality, adapted educational video games. Large companies are leading in the creation of educational video games for their internal training or to enhance their public image and universities can benefit from [...] Read more.
Incorporating gamification into training–learning at universities is hampered by a shortage of quality, adapted educational video games. Large companies are leading in the creation of educational video games for their internal training or to enhance their public image and universities can benefit from collaborating. The aim of this research is to evaluate, both objectively and subjectively, the potential of the simulation game BugaMAP (developed by the MAPFRE Foundation) for university teaching about insurance. To this end, we have assessed both the game itself and the experience of using the game as perceived by 142 economics students from various degree plans and courses at the University of Seville during the 2017–2018 academic year. As a methodology, a checklist of gamification components is used for the objective evaluation, and an opinion questionnaire on the game experience is used for the subjective evaluation. Among the results several findings stand out. One is the high satisfaction of the students with the knowledge acquired using fun and social interaction. Another is that the role of the university professors and the company monitors turns out to be very active and necessary during the game-learning sessions. Finally, in addition to the benefits to the university of occasionally available quality games to accelerate student skills training, the company–university collaboration serves as a trial and refinement of innovative tools for game-based learning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Gamification in Online Learning Environments: A Systematic Literature Review
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030032 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Video Games and Collaborative Learning in Education? A Scale for Measuring In-Service Teachers’ Attitudes towards Collaborative Learning with Video Games
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030030 - 05 Aug 2019
Abstract
Students’ motivation is a fundamental factor in the educational process, and can be facilitated through new methodologies and technologies, including gamification, video games, collaborative learning, or, in particular, the methodology called “collaborative learning with video games” (which is presented and can be understood [...] Read more.
Students’ motivation is a fundamental factor in the educational process, and can be facilitated through new methodologies and technologies, including gamification, video games, collaborative learning, or, in particular, the methodology called “collaborative learning with video games” (which is presented and can be understood as the implementation of educational activities in which students have to work together to achieve a goal, and the main resource of the activity is a video game). However, if teachers themselves are not motivated, or if they lack a positive attitude towards implementing these new methodologies, it will be difficult for students to feel motivated when approaching said resources. Therefore, it is important to know what teachers’ attitudes towards them are. The aim of this research is the creation of an attitudes scale towards collaborative learning with video games, aimed at in-service primary school teachers. Different methodological steps were followed that made its construction possible, such as the analysis of items and the verification of their reliability, resulting in a rigorous attitudes scale of 33 items, with a reliability of α = 0.947. This implies that the measurement instrument is validated and allows one to know the attitudes of in-service primary school teachers towards a new methodology related to the implementation of video games in education. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Fun through Gamification to Improve Engagement in MOOC
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030028 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), regardless of their topic, are a perfect space to generate, through virtual learning communities associated with them, very valuable resources for their participants and, in general, anyone interested in the topic covered. If in the design of these [...] Read more.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), regardless of their topic, are a perfect space to generate, through virtual learning communities associated with them, very valuable resources for their participants and, in general, anyone interested in the topic covered. If in the design of these learning spaces, elements specific to games are added to them, which is known as gamification, we can try to increase the engagement of the student towards the course and, therefore, towards the community. This paper presents an experience of a MOOC of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain) with a connectivist approach. Aspects such as fun and motivation have been worked on in the design, through the application of gamified activities and the use of elements from social networks, considered as gamification, with the aim of increasing participation and engagement within a Facebook group, used as a community to support the course. We have analyzed aspects such as enjoyment and motivation, the result of which has been active participation and high engagement within the MOOC community in the form of content and especially great interaction, highlighting the existence of continuous activity once the edition of the MOOC is finished, as a consequence of a habit generated in the student. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
FLIGBY—A Serious Game Tool to Enhance Motivation and Competencies in Entrepreneurship
Informatics 2019, 6(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6030027 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Entrepreneurship is currently one of the most fundamental economic activities in the 21st century. Entrepreneurship encourages young generations to generate their self-employment and develop key soft-skills that will be useful throughout their professional career. This study aims to present and explore a case [...] Read more.
Entrepreneurship is currently one of the most fundamental economic activities in the 21st century. Entrepreneurship encourages young generations to generate their self-employment and develop key soft-skills that will be useful throughout their professional career. This study aims to present and explore a case study of a higher education institution that adopts FLIGBY as a serious game, which allows students to develop entrepreneurship skills in an immersive way and based on real challenges that can be found in business environments. The findings indicate that FLIGBY offers relevant potentials and new possibilities in the development of management, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. Furthermore, the game allows the inclusion of summative and formative assessment elements, which are essential in the process of monitoring and analyzing the student’s performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teaching HCI Skills in Higher Education through Game Design: A Study of Students’ Perceptions
Informatics 2019, 6(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6020022 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area with a wide range of concepts and knowledge. Therefore, a need to innovate in the teaching-learning processes to achieve an effective education arises. This article describes a proposal for teaching HCI through the development of projects that [...] Read more.
Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area with a wide range of concepts and knowledge. Therefore, a need to innovate in the teaching-learning processes to achieve an effective education arises. This article describes a proposal for teaching HCI through the development of projects that allow students to acquire higher education competencies through the design and evaluation of computer games. Finally, an empirical validation (questionnaires and case study) with 40 undergraduate students (studying their fifth semester of software engineering) was applied at the end of the semester. The results indicated that this teaching method provides the students with the HCI skills (psychology of everyday things, involving users, task-centered system design, models of human behavior, creativity and metaphors, and graphical screen design) and, more importantly, they have a positive perception on the efficacy of the use of videogame design in a higher education course. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Malone’s Theoretical Model on Gamification for Designing Educational Rubrics
Informatics 2019, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6010009 - 04 Mar 2019
Abstract
How could a structured proposal for an evaluation rubric benefit from assessing and including the organizational variables used when one of the first definitions of gamification related to game theory was established by Thomas W. Malone in 1980? By studying the importance and [...] Read more.
How could a structured proposal for an evaluation rubric benefit from assessing and including the organizational variables used when one of the first definitions of gamification related to game theory was established by Thomas W. Malone in 1980? By studying the importance and current validity of Malone’s corollaries on his article What makes things fun to Learn? this work covers all different characteristics of the concepts once used to define the term “gamification.” Based on the results of this analysis, we will propose different evaluation concepts that will be assessed and included in a qualitative proposal for an evaluation rubric, with the ultimate goal of including a holistic approach to all different aspects related to evaluation for active methodologies in a secondary education environment. Full article
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