1 Dunarea de Jos University of Galati (ROMANIA)
2 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (SPAIN)
3 Šolski center Novo mesto (SLOVENIA)
4 Prism Consulting (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 8632-8641
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1915
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-gaming contexts (Deterding et al., 2011) with the aim of fostering effort, loyalty, and motivation to change behaviors or develop skills, achieving the users' goals and increasing their performance in a given activity. In recent years, more efforts to use gamification for education were made. Studying the gamification in relation with its role in education and learning, demonstrated that gamification is a valuable tool that facilitates students’ acquisition of skills and competences and achieving of educational goals.

Entrepreneurship education aims to change students' mindsets through, behaviors, skills, and capabilities. A large amount of research has demonstrated the benefits of applying gamification for entrepreneurship education at the university, high school, and even secondary school levels, but very little attention in the literature has been oriented at the vocational education and training (VET) level. The present paper aims to investigate the current state of the use of gamification for developing entrepreneurial skills in vocational education and training (VET), in four different European countries. To address these issue, the study has focused on the following specific objectives:
1. to analyze of the current level of application of gamification in VET for entrepreneurship;
2. to identify the gamification techniques which are most frequently applied in the entrepreneurship courses developed by the VET teachers;
3. to identify the most relevant entrepreneurial skills that can benefit from the use of gamification;
4. to establish the appropriate methodology to be developed in a course about gamification in entrepreneurship education.

The sample consists of 103 participants belonging to 55 different VET organizations from four countries (Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain). All participants were VET teachers of entrepreneurship education in secondary and post-secondary education. The data were collected through a questionnaire with 41 items divided in two blocks referring to the application of gamification and teachers' perceptions toward the relevance of the entrepreneurial skills categories.
Results revealed that the main obstacles that prevent VET teachers from using gamification are the lack of information about how to apply it, the specifics about its mechanics, and the time needed to develop gamified contents. These factors act as an entry barrier that prevents teachers from applying gamification techniques in their courses to a larger extent. Concerning the perceptions of the relevance that teachers assign to each one of the 17 entrepreneurial competences and skills, results showed that personal maturity skills are considered as more relevant but also these are better suited to be adapted to improve by means of gamification, from the perspective of VET educators.

The results of the study will be taking into account as proposals for the development of an innovative didactic methodology framework based on the use of gamification in VET entrepreneurial education. The study has been made within the framework of the GAMEST project (GAMification tEchniqueS for entrepreneurial vet Teachers), funded in the ERASMUS+ Program, and its results highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of using gamification techniques in entrepreneurship education from the perspective of the countries of the project partners.
Gamification, vocational and educational training, entrepreneurial education, teacher, competences and skills.