Students' preference for the use of gamification in virtual learning environments
Keywords:gamification, preference for use, e-learning, virtual learning environments, structural equation modelling
Virtual education faces tremendous challenges such as lack of motivation and high dropout rates. However, one solution to this problem is the incorporation of digital pedagogical strategies based on gamification, which promote interest, facilitate the learning process, and contribute to reducing dropout. In this sense, we evaluated the student's preference for using the gamified tool Didactic City, by using a quantitative methodology and structural equation models. This preference included fundamental factors such as utility, knowledge, engagement, enjoyment, motivation, and ease of use. The results are expected to contribute to create a more informed decision-making process not only for video game designers but also for pedagogues, and educational managers who could perform game improvements, redesigns, inclusion, or exclusion of individual elements that would make students prefer to use gamification tools in the future. The results indicate that the students' utility, the enjoyment generated by the tool, and the improvement of knowledge are the critical factors in terms of preference for using gamified tools in virtual learning environments.
Implications for policy and practice:
- In virtual learning environments, higher education institutions and instructors can include gamified tools to create pleasant environments that increase students' motivation and facilitate learning.
- Designers and developers of gamified educational tools should measure their acceptance, as this factor is decisive for fulfilling the purposes of these pedagogical tools.
- Researchers could evidence more factors that influence the preference for the use of gamified educational tools.
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