Skip to main content

Table 13 Characterization of Studies Based on Game Mechanics, Learning Context, Measurements and Outcomes

From: Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical review

Paper Game elements Subject Gamified activity Sample size Duration Data collection Outcome
(Amriani et al., 2014) Points, badges, leaderboard, status, levels, unlockable content, customization Web development, Game development Learning interactions in Virtual Realty 93 learners 12 weeks for each module Exploratory data analysis: log data from VR + Questionnaire Improved participation + engagement
(Anderson et al., 2015) Badges, points, competition, leaderboard Intro to Data Science Assessment 37 students randomized into gamified and control groups 1 class period Performance on test problems + comments on the system Improved performance
(Attali & Arieli-Attali, 2015) Points Mathematics Assessment 1218 Adults + 693 grades 6–8 students randomized into gamified and control groups 1 test session Recorded accuracy and speed in test performance The effect of points on performance (accuracy + speed)
(Auvinen et al., 2015) Badges, heatmap Data Structures and Algorithms Online exercises Gamified group (N = 254), heatmap group (N = 109) 2 semesters System logs + numerical feedback Differences in reacting to gamification feedback
(Barata et al., 2014) XPs, badges, levels, leaderboard, challenges Multimedia Content Production Course activities 35 enrolled students (12 + 23) 1 semester Student performance + accumulated XP Effects of gamification on different student types
(Barrio et al., 2015) Points Unspecified Learning activities using SRS 131 (62 + 69) students 4 sessions (90 min each) Surveys + posttest Improved motivation,
attention, learning performance
(Bernik et al., 2015) Points, badges, leaderboard, progress 3D Modeling Learning activities in a course module 28 + (27 control group) students 2 weeks Pre-post-test + Questionnaire Improved performance
(Bonde et al., 2014) Lab simulation + narrative + fictional characters Biology Lab activities 91 students (gamified + control groups) 40 days Learning outcomes Increase in learning outcomes and motivation
(Boskic & Hu, 2015) Choice, role playing, feedback Education course Course assignments 25 students 13 weeks Interview (an instructor + a student) Increased engagement understanding
(Boticki et al., 2015) Badges N/A Mobile app- based learning activities 305 primary school students 1 school year Systems logs, observations, feedback Motivated a specific category of students
(Chang & Wei, 2015) 40 gamification mechanisms Unspecified Coursera, edX Udacity, based activities 35 frequent users + 5,020 learners Unspecified Questionnaire Gamification mechanics identified as engaging
(Christy & Fox, 2014) Leaderboards Mathematics Assessment 80 women randomized into 3 groups male-dominated leaderboard, female-dominated leaderboard and control groups 1 experimental test Tests score + self-assessment of math and academic skills Leaderboards create stereotype threat
(Codish & Ravid, 2014) Points, badges, leaderboards, narrative Software analysis and design In-class and course project activities Two course (n = 102 and n = 58) Two consecutive courses 2 Quasi-experiments + 4 surveys Personal differences in perceived game mechanics
(Codish & Ravid, 2015) Points, badges, riddles Software analysis and design LMS - interactions 38 undergraduates students One semester Questionnaire + log analysis Evidence for GBP to predict playfulness
(Davis & Klein, 2015) Badges N/A Afterschool learning High school students   Pre-, during and post- focus groups, usability tests Evidence for students’ perceptions of badges (contextual)
(Hakulinen et al., 2015) Badges Data Structures and Algorithms Homework exercises 281 randomized - control and treatment groups 1 semester System logs and students’ attitudes from feedback Improved motivation
(Hanus & Fox, 2015) Badges, virtual coins, leaderboard, pseudonyms Communication course In-class and out-of-class activities 80 students divided in gamified and non-gamified courses One semester (16 W) Four surveys + Exam scores Satisfaction, empowerment, academic performance
(Hasegawa et al., 2015) Points, trials, character, ranking, progress English Vocabulary learning 27 undergraduate/graduate Unspecified Survey Motivated continuous learning
(Herbert et al., 2014) Points, badges, leaderboard, status, levels, unlockable content, customization Web development, Game development Learning interactions in Virtual Realty 93 learners 12 weeks for each module Log data from VR + questionnaire + exploratory data analysis Relation between learner gamification typology and learner interactive behavior
(Hew et al., 2016) Points, badges, leaderboard Designing Questionnaire Project activities 22 (11 + 11)
43 (21 + 22) students
2 studies 3 + 19 days Log analysis +test scores The effect of gamification on engagement
(Holman et al., 2013) Badges, leveling, leaderboard, autonomy,
grade predictor
Information studies, Political theory Class activities 292 + 231 students 1 semester Analyzing system logs The impact of grade predictor on planning the work over the course
(Ibanez et al., 2014) Badges, leaderboards Operating systems Course activities 22 undergraduate students 1 semester Log files + pre-post-tests The effect of gamification on engagement and learning.
(Jang et al., 2015) Levels, point, life points, avatars, feedbacks, time pressure Photoshop Learning activities 114 students randomized into gamified and control groups Unspecified Pre- and post-tests Improved learning performance
Knutas et al. (2014a) N/A Software engineering Collaborative teamwork 17 students 5 day period Classroom interactions + interviews + survey Profiling based on gamification preference
Knutas et al. (2014b) Points, badges, up-vote or down-vote Introductory programming Collaborative learning 249 students 1 semester System logs + survey Positive effect on student collaboration
(Krause et al., 2015) Achievements, points, leaderboards, avatars Python for statistical analysis Online course activities 71 control, 67 game condition 1 semester Tests and quizzes performance Improved retention period, and learning performance
(Lambruschini & Pizarro, 2015) Points, badges, leaderboard Process management Course participation 94 students 1 semester Single survey - 13% response Increased communication, participation, punctuality
(Landers & Landers, 2015) Leaderboards Industrial/organizational psychology Course project activities 109 students randomized into gamified and control groups 1 semester Recorded project activities Improved time on task
(Laskowski & Badurowicz, 2014) Points, leaderboards, badges Service-Oriented Architectures All course activities 62 master students randomized into gamified and control groups 1 semester Attendance + performance on tests, assignments, projects Improved engagement and performance
(Latulipe et al., 2015) Stamps, tokens, leaderboards CS1 In-class course activities 92 + 65 students 2 semesters Surveys – twice per semester Encouraged harder work and engagement
(Leach et al., 2014) Badges, points Technology and society Online class activities 50 students randomized into gamified and control groups 85 days Recorded student online activities Increased online activities and learning performance
(Lehtonen et al., 2015) Points, badges, leaderboard Open online learning - Java Online Java exercises 13 577 users 9 years Log analysis Increased usage of the open learning environment
(Long & Aleven, 2014) Stars/badges Middle school mathematics Problem solving with re-practicing 267 students randomized into gamified and control groups 5 class periods Pre- and post-tests + recorded data Does not improve learning
(Mekler et al., 2015) Points, levels and leaderboard Unspecified Image annotation 273 students −130 autonomy, 143 control oriented 22 min session Tracking the amount of tags generated Increased competence need (negative) and performance (positive)
(Morschheuser et al., 2014) Points, badges personas N/A Interaction with PLE 70 participants 20 days Questionnaire Increased intention to use the PLE
(Nevin et al., 2014) Badges, levels, feedback, leaderboard, voluntary participation Medical education Interactions with a learning environment 152 participants + focus group (n = 17) 1 academic year Log data from the platform and from the focus group Increased knowledge retention, reduce attrition
(Paiva et al., 2015) Points, badges High school mathematics Interactions with ITS 100 students Unspecified Log data (100 students) Correlation between XPs, badges and learning - positive
(Pedro et al., 2015a) User-generated badges N/A Badges creation, attribution Learning platform users 1 academic year System logs Participation badge creation and attribution
(Pedro et al., 2015b) Points, badges, levels, feedback, ranking Middle school mathematics Interactions with VLE 7 girls and 9 boys divided randomly in two groups 1 h The score with the gamified system Improved performance, reduced undesirable behaviors in VLE
(Perry, 2015) Points, badges French language Interactions with Language learning system 11 students 1 semester Pre- and post- questionnaires, focus groups, recordings of the sessions Increased playfulness and engagement in learning
(Pettit et al., 2015) Challenge, progress, competition, status, achievement, prizes, chance, surprise, anticipation, humor medical microbiology ARS interactions 91 students (86%) 2/3 semester Questionnaire Increased engagement and learning
(Poole et al., 2014) Points, leaderboards Accounting Class activity 55 students in gamified and traditional classes 3 weeks Test score, survey Increased engagement, foster learning
(Shi et al., 2014) Leaderboard, progress, feedback, social status, Unspecified Interactions via a learning environment 20 students 2 weeks Survey + system logs Increased intrinsic motivation
(Sillaots, 2014) Goals, avatar, XPs, feedback scoreboard, levels, luck, competition Research methods In-class activities 28 IT students 1 semester questionnaire Mixed acceptance of game elements
(Sillaots, 2015) Goals, avatar, XPs, feedback scoreboard, levels, luck, competition, game vocabulary Computer games Game design activities 23 students 1 semester Observation, group interview, questionnaire Perception of game elements incorporated in a course
(Simoes et al., 2015) Badges, points, leaderboard Unspecified Homework in Schooooools 26 primary school students 1 homework Psychometric survey Increased disposition to the experience flow
(Smith et al., 2014) Merit points, badges, voting Engineering/IT Online discussions 1586 students 6 weeks Participation data and survey Improved participation and quality of online discussion
(Su & Cheng, 2015) Badges, leaderboard, missions Botanics Field activities 3 fourth-grade classes (1 + 2) 3 weeks Questionnaire + pre- and post-test Increased motivation and learning
(Tu et al., 2015) Badges Unspecified Test activities 71 master students 14 weeks Survey Relation between gaming personality and game dynamics
(Tvarozek & Brza, 2014) Interactive badges Introductory programming + Advanced algorithms Programming exercises 186 students 1 semester for each course Surveys + badge interactions Relation between badge interaction and engagement
(Utomo & Santoso, 2015) Badges, progress bar Student-centered learning Online learning activities 31 students 1 week Focus group + feedback forms Fostered learning activities