Developing a Gameful Approach as a Tool for Innovation and Teaching Quality in Higher Education

Developing a Gameful Approach as a Tool for Innovation and Teaching Quality in Higher Education

Anna Sendra (University of Ottawa, Canada), Natàlia Lozano-Monterrubio (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Jordi Prades-Tena (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain) and Juan Luis Gonzalo-Iglesia (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2021010104
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Abstract

This paper introduces the results of applying a gameful approach based on six playful activities as a tool to improve the learning process in higher education. A total of 850 students from different courses of Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain) were involved in the study. The strategy was evaluated through a participant observation (active and passive) and mixed-methods surveys answered by the students. Results point out that most participants responded positively to the activities proposed. The reported levels of motivation and engagement also indicate the capabilities of this strategy as a method to enhance the learning experience of students. Despite these positive outcomes, challenges like the impact on working practices of teachers or the long-term engagement of gameful approaches requires additional research.
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Introduction

Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the literature towards the use of games in the classroom (Cardinot & Fairfield, 2019; Rao & Stupans, 2012; Rice, 2009; Tobias et al., 2014). As children, most of our learning experiences are related to gaming. For instance, toys like pattern blocks help toddlers to enhance their cognitive abilities (Guyton, 2011). However, as adults (including university students), games are considered a hobby (i.e. as something you play with during your free time). Nørgård et al. (2017) argue that the learning experiences of these individuals are increasingly related to productivity. In this paper, the authors present the findings on the application of a gameful approach based on six playful activities as a resource to enhance the learning process in higher education (HE).

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