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Gamification in higher education and stem : a systematic review of literature

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Abstract
In recent years, gamification, the use of game elements in non-game contexts, has drawn the attention of educators due to the possibility of making learning more motivating and engaging; this led to an increase of research in the field. Despite the availability of literature reviews about gamification and its effects, no work to this date has focused exclusively on Higher Education (HE). Next, worldwide there is an increasing demand for skilled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals that meet the challenges related to scientific and technological innovations of the 21st Century. This lead to the need of strengthening STEM Higher Education. This brings us to the purpose of this work: presenting a systematic literature review of empirical studies about gamification STEM related Higher Education. This review study started from a systematic mapping design of 'Web of Science' articles, with following inclusion criteria: empirical gamification studies set up in HE, published between 2000 and 2016; focusing on undergraduate or graduate students; in the STEM knowledge field, and set up in authentic settings. An initial search resulted in 562 potentially relevant articles. After applying all selection criteria, only 18 studies could be retained. 12 additional articles were included by analyzing references from earlier literature reviews, resulting in 30 studies to be included. Analysis results show how a combination of game elements (e.g. leaderboards, badges, points and other combinations) positively affects students' performance, attendance, goal orientation and attitude towards mostly computer science related subjects. The analysis results also point at a lack of studies in certain STEM areas, a lack of studies that identify the particular game element associated with the positive differential impact on student performance; a lack of validated psychometric measurements, and lack of focus on student variables that could/should be taken into account as mediating/moderating variables clarifying the impact of gamification in the HE focus on STEM learning and teaching.
Keywords
PERFORMANCE, SOFTWARE, Gamification, STEM, review of research, literature review

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MLA
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. “Gamification in Higher Education and Stem : a Systematic Review of Literature.” EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES. Valenica: Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development, 2016. 6548–6558. Print.
APA
Ortiz Rojas, M. E., Chiluiza, K., & Valcke, M. (2016). Gamification in higher education and stem : a systematic review of literature. EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES (pp. 6548–6558). Presented at the 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN), Valenica: Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development.
Chicago author-date
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. 2016. “Gamification in Higher Education and Stem : a Systematic Review of Literature.” In EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES, 6548–6558. Valenica: Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth, Katherine Chiluiza, and Martin Valcke. 2016. “Gamification in Higher Education and Stem : a Systematic Review of Literature.” In EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES, 6548–6558. Valenica: Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development.
Vancouver
1.
Ortiz Rojas ME, Chiluiza K, Valcke M. Gamification in higher education and stem : a systematic review of literature. EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES. Valenica: Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development; 2016. p. 6548–58.
IEEE
[1]
M. E. Ortiz Rojas, K. Chiluiza, and M. Valcke, “Gamification in higher education and stem : a systematic review of literature,” in EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES, Barcelona, SPAIN, 2016, pp. 6548–6558.
@inproceedings{8542410,
  abstract     = {In recent years, gamification, the use of game elements in non-game contexts, has drawn the attention of educators due to the possibility of making learning more motivating and engaging; this led to an increase of research in the field. Despite the availability of literature reviews about gamification and its effects, no work to this date has focused exclusively on Higher Education (HE). Next, worldwide there is an increasing demand for skilled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals that meet the challenges related to scientific and technological innovations of the 21st Century. This lead to the need of strengthening STEM Higher Education. This brings us to the purpose of this work: presenting a systematic literature review of empirical studies about gamification STEM related Higher Education. This review study started from a systematic mapping design of 'Web of Science' articles, with following inclusion criteria: empirical gamification studies set up in HE, published between 2000 and 2016; focusing on undergraduate or graduate students; in the STEM knowledge field, and set up in authentic settings. An initial search resulted in 562 potentially relevant articles. After applying all selection criteria, only 18 studies could be retained. 12 additional articles were included by analyzing references from earlier literature reviews, resulting in 30 studies to be included. Analysis results show how a combination of game elements (e.g. leaderboards, badges, points and other combinations) positively affects students' performance, attendance, goal orientation and attitude towards mostly computer science related subjects. The analysis results also point at a lack of studies in certain STEM areas, a lack of studies that identify the particular game element associated with the positive differential impact on student performance; a lack of validated psychometric measurements, and lack of focus on student variables that could/should be taken into account as mediating/moderating variables clarifying the impact of gamification in the HE focus on STEM learning and teaching.},
  author       = {Ortiz Rojas, Margarita Elizabeth and Chiluiza, Katherine and Valcke, Martin},
  booktitle    = {EDULEARN16: 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND NEW LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES},
  isbn         = {978-84-608-8860-4},
  issn         = {2340-1117},
  keywords     = {PERFORMANCE,SOFTWARE,Gamification,STEM,review of research,literature review},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Barcelona, SPAIN},
  pages        = {6548--6558},
  publisher    = {Iated-int Assoc Technology Education A& Development},
  title        = {Gamification in higher education and stem : a systematic review of literature},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0422},
  year         = {2016},
}

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