1 Polytechnic University of Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Catholic University of Avila (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 5521-5527
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.1302
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Since the implementation of the European Higher Education Area, active methodologies are being used to favour diverse ways of learning to match students’ heterogeneity and complexity and take advantage of the constant advances in technological resources. Around 2010 gamification started to break-through in the education community but it encompasses much more. However, it is not so new, since some types of games have been used since ever, and at all educational levels.

At engineering level, in the subject “Park and Gardens and Restoration of degraded areas” of the Forestry Engineering Degree (Polytechnic University of Madrid, U.P.M, Spain), a list of most typical species of trees and shrubs species is studied. It is a total of 120 species to be memorized by students. They must learn their name (vulgar and Latin) they have to be able to recognize them. However, our teaching experience reveals that the process requires time, effort, and a lot of repetition until the objective is achieved, which can be a tedious process and may discourage students. First, it is necessary to learn the name of the species and then also to relate it to its habitat and most common characteristics. This proposal aimed to complement the learning process through play, and thus to facilitate this difficult task. It was developed thanks to the UPM Call for Educational Innovation Projects in the 2021-2022 course. The aim of the present research was to develop different games and implement them on usual teaching platform; and then find out if this gamification proposal is actively used by students and how effective they are to learn. The study took place in the Forestry engineering degree (3o course) at U.P.M and the students enrolled in this subject (2021-2022). The list of species was explained in theory class, then two gamification tools were implemented, in this order:
- Firstly, a printed tree species catalogue material: We printed tree photos (not containing the tree/shrub species name). Students had to find and match them with the tree species name printed in a separate file. This was the first approach to start getting familiar with the Latin and Spanish tree species names.
- Secondly, digital game: we developed three digital multiple-choice tests showing (35) relevant tree photos and three possible answers (in both Latin and Spanish) for each picture. We used to implement it. We mixed the most confused tree species names (same flowers colour, same shape and colour tree species) to create the tests. It resulted a very dynamic and attractive interface. We encouraged students to repeat (in class or at home) as many times as they felt they had learned all the names. It was exported as scorm to use in our moodle class platform.

To analyse if these gamification tools were used by students and how effective they has been to learn, correct answers and the number of tests entries were correlated with the marks in the exam. We also passed a questionnaire asking for this gamification strategy for students’ satisfaction. The data obtained refer to the application of an anonymous questionnaire that was sent by means of a Google Form, to be answered as accurately and honestly as possible. Subsequently, work was carried out to analyse and interpret the data. When these gamification types of activities were carried out, 90% students had experienced fun, entertainment, satisfaction, motivation, etc., which was linked (85%) to higher quality learning. With this proposal we intended to use game elements to complement this educational process and facilitate the student's learning.
Gamification, tree species, vishub, org, motivation, students.