Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 3330-3340
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.0882
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
The use of gamification has increased significantly over the last decade, particularly in the education and teaching domains. According to research findings, standardized gamification techniques effectively encourage motivation and engagement among pupils/students, especially in educational contexts. Despite the positive effects, the use of well-planned gamification strategies can have a negative effect on users. This is due to the given gamification strategy which does not address the individual differences of the users, and their special needs. In order to be able to address the needs of the users, the player types were characterized, which can then be taken into account within the gamification strategy. This means that there are different user needs when using digital applications. These studies use persuasive technologies that show that a non-personalized or "one-size-fits-all" design is significantly less effective than a design that is tailored to the user's player type, as measured by self-reported intention to engage, enjoyment and self-efficacy when playing the game.

Even so, the use of personalized gamification is no guarantee of promoting user engagement. Since every personalized gamification concept is individually tailored to the respective context, it cannot be assumed that every concept will enhance engagement. Nevertheless, there exists a research gap in the literature where users can communicate their interests and preferences to the system, and in turn, can be presented with appropriate game elements.. In addition, there is no personalized gamification concept that exclusively uses game elements to foster user engagement. A gamification concept that specifically promotes engagement can sustainably increase student motivation and create a bond with the respective applications. This reveals a research opportunity to further explore the topic of personalized gamification.

The problem of a missing gamification concept on a platform can lead to a lack of user engagement. In addition, it becomes more difficult to bind users to the platform in the long term, as no positive feelings arise. It is therefore necessary to use a suitable concept to avoid negative effects on users and to ensure that the platform is actively used. This paper therefore focusses on the following research question: How can personalized gamification promote user engagement?

The main objective of this paper is how a gamification concept can look like that explicitly promotes user engagement. The first step is to determine which player types exist to find out which game elements promote user engagement. The next step is to work out which player types and game elements correlate with each other to build a decision tree that represents gamification in a personalized way. Once the findings just mentioned have been combined, it is necessary to check whether user engagement is being promoted. This means artefacts such as a concept for promoting engagement and the results from testing the prototype should be produced.

The approach of this paper is based on the Design Science Research method and contains the necessary steps to produce a validated artefact. A project platform for ideas at university was selected as a practical use case to validate the concepts.
Personalized Gamification, decision tree, player types, gamification elements.