About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3662-3668
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1794

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain


This project is proposed by a group of novice professors from the School of Computer Science and the School of Telecommunication Engineering of the University of Malaga (Spain). One of the main problems that Engineering professors face during their lectures consists in the students' lack of motivation. They are usually well motivated for practical activities, but they do not show the same interest for theoretical contents.

Additionally, this is worsened by large differences in the students' skills: some of them present excellent marks and background, while others started the degree with the minimal required grade. This situation leads to an uneven background with respect to new contents and, ultimately, makes it hard for the professor to keep everyone focused during the lesson.

In order to address these problems we propose the use of gamification. Specifically, we aim to develop a variety of group games in different courses along the term. Groups are set up according to the results obtained from an initial level test, in order to reduce skill differences among different groups and improve cooperation. They are kept unchanged during the course.

The main objectives of this work are:
(i) to increase the motivation of the students through games which can foster cognitive skills and a healthy competition,
(ii) encourage the continuous effort,
(iii) improve the cooperation and interpersonal relationships while seeking a balance among groups, and
(iv) promote the loyalty of the students to the subject.

The methodology is based on three phases:
(i) set up,
(ii) execution and
(iii) monitoring.

The first phase consists in defining the games, the final price and different surveys in order to monitor the project. The execution and monitoring phases are carried out simultaneously. After groups have been set up, different games are launched by using existing technological tools than can accelerate the results gathering process. Finally, at the end of each game, the performance of each group is evaluated by using follow-up surveys and statistical analysis of the obtained results. The game itself is also evaluated, using some advanced measures such as the index of discrimination and the reliability degree of each item proposed in the game, using, for example, the test of Kuder-Richardson 20 (KR-20).

As part of the methodology, the games must be based on activities in which groups have to answer questions. However, the professor is who (decisively or arbitrarily) selects which student in the first group that reaches the right answer has to justify it. By doing so, we try to guarantee that all the students are taking part in the game. Additionally, the questions which turn out to be more difficult are solved in detail by the professor at the end of the game. Moreover, these tough questions are to be used as part of the final exams.

Results of the effectiveness of the project will be presented in detail at the conference. Nonetheless, preliminary results extracted from the available follow-up surveys show that the majority of students has learnt or taught something from/to their fellows. Some correlations between the levels of learning/teaching within a group and other variables such as the perceived difficulty of the games, their relevance with respect to the subject or the mood of the comments can be also drawn. They show, for example, that for groups in which students have learnt more from their fellows, the degree of perceived difficulty is lower.
author = {Alcaraz, C. and Abdo, E. and Halir, R. and Toutouh, J. and Ruiz, M. and Stolfi, D.H.},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1794},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1794},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3662-3668}}
AU - C. Alcaraz AU - E. Abdo AU - R. Halir AU - J. Toutouh AU - M. Ruiz AU - D.H. Stolfi
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1794
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3662
EP - 3668
ER -
C. Alcaraz, E. Abdo, R. Halir, J. Toutouh, M. Ruiz, D.H. Stolfi (2017) GAMIFICATION TO FIGHT LACK OF MOTIVATION AND HETEROGENEITY IN ENGINEERING, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3662-3668.