1 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Católica de Ávila (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 1958-1964
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.0593
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Gamification uses game techniques in non-game contexts to motivate and improve the user experience in different fields, such as education. Gamification is increasingly being used to promote motivation and learning. In this sense, video games have been gradually introduced as a tool to improve learning experience in the university environment.

For this reason, within the scope of the Educational Innovation Project "Learning through gamification processes of the most typical species of trees and shrubs in gardens and green areas (II)" (internal UPM reference IE23.1305), led by Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (U.P.M), two new tools are being developed to facilitate the learning process of the tree and shrubs species lists. Students of the subject “Parks and Gardens. Restoration of degraded areas”, ETSI Montes, Natural and Forestry Environment, must study a list of 120 species of trees and ornamental shrubs. This list complements other forest species that they had already studied in “Botany” subject in the first year of the degree. Our experience shows that the task of learning species by heart (common name and Latin name) is difficult and unattractive, and it is only through repetition that the students manage to memorize them.

In order to improve knowledge retention and motivation, the following tools have been developed, both with a setting in the arboretum of our University, the arboretum of the ETSI Montes, Natural and Forestry Environment (UPM):
- Video game: the arboretum has been recreated as a scenario and a player can walk around, bumping into trees and bushes. When this happens, a query pops-up asking for the bush/tree species, and the player must answer by choosing among three possibilities. If the answer is correct, an emoticon of validation/congratulation appears, and if not, a sadness emoticon appears. By answering correctly, an inventory of the species seen along the route is created.
- Interactive map, that consists of a trip around the school's arboretum with the students, showing them the species. The pupils are given a list of species with a number, and they have to place them in the appropriate locus on the map. We deveoped it using

These tools are aimed at helping students to learn in a more interactive and engaging way. Then, in order to check if these gamification tools had improved their motivation and academic performance, a questionnaire has been asked about the students' satisfaction with this gamification strategy. The data obtained refers to the application of an anonymous questionnaire that was sent via a Google Form, to be answered as accurately and honestly as possible. Subsequently, the data were analyzed and interpreted to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of both tools.
Gamification, videogame, interactive maps, ornamental plants, Educational Innovation Project, trees-shrubs list.