University of Malaga (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 3787-3795
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.0960
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
Traditional teaching approaches rely to a great extent on the transmission of knowledge from the lecturer to the student in a mostly unidirectional manner. It has been reported however that the interaction between students in collaborative activities serves to increase the cognitive level and the academic performance. Furthermore, collaboration is key to develop different transverse competences that are recognized to be crucial for future professional development. At the same time, the use of games in the classroom is a powerful strategy to draw the students’ attention and increase their motivation. In some cases, the general perception is that games are fundamental for kids learning, but at the end of the day we all behave like kids when we enter a game. For this reason, games also have a great potential among undergraduate students to enhance the teaching learning experience.

A common strategy among university professors who want to promote active learning is to divide the classroom into different groups and let them solve subject-related problems. In such methodologies, the teacher acts as a guide and a reference for consultation, and the students are in the centre of the teaching-learning process taking an active role. Although this methodology is active and effective, it can be enhanced if it is empowered with some gamification elements.

This work proposes the use of card-based games within the problem-solving lecture in order to include some competition and gamification. The number of games that can be imagined has no limit, but in general it is more effective to adopt structures that are familiar to the target participants. In this case the approach is inspired in the popular Kings League game, using cards that provide some kind of power to the holder. Based on this initial point, the lecturers have specifically designed cards that promote the interaction between students. For the sake of example, the card Polymorphism allows the holder to exchange two students that are located in different groups, or the card Mercenary Contract permits the inclusion of another member into your group. At the same time, some cards are designed to include the lecturer participation, like in the case of Invoke the Oracle, that allows the teacher to solve a specific part of the problem to the team that holds the card. It is also important to maintain the entertainment, and for this reason cards like The Mirrow Rancour reflect the action of a card that another group wants to apply to your team. The game has a total of eight original cards that are designed with a clear didactic approach to appropriately gamify the activity within the classroom, and they will be fully shown and described in the final version of the paper.

The proposed innovation has been applied to a course on Electrical Machines at the University of Malaga, showing a good acceptance among students. The results include a mixture of students’ survey (SEEQ), subject scores (in continuous evaluation) and social measurements. The final paper will include all those results and a detailed discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of the proposal. It is worth noting in any case that the activity is simple to implement, it is not time consuming (once the cards have been designed) and it is fully transferable to any other subject since the game only requires that students some kind of problem, this being open to any area of knowledge.
Game-based learning, active learning, engineering.