Publication trends in gamification: A systematic mapping study

Figure: Topic modeling -based analysis of current application areas in gamification Figure: Topic modeling -based analysis of current application areas in gamification

Gamification, or the application of game elements in non-game environments, is nowadays an increasingly popular field of research. The number of yearly publications on the topic has grown overwhelmingly. In this paper, we mapped the publication trends in gamification, and analyzed which in which fields the application of gamification is most popular. Health, play, education, crowdsourcing, and software development were identified as the most trending topics.

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The paper is available at ScienceDirect. Alternatively, you can request a preprint at ResearchGate.


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Profile-Based Algorithm for Personalized Gamification in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments

Figure: Marczewski's (2015) Gamification User Type Hexad Figure: Marczewski’s (2015) Gamification User Type Hexad

Gamification is a trending topic in both research and commercial applications. However, there has been uncertainity of when and where gamification is effective, and which approaches are suitable different users and environments. Recent studies have proposed that personalization is a key and gamification is not necessarily a one-size fits all method. In this study, we have used the gamification user type hexad (Marczewski, 2015; Tondello et al., 2016), van Roy’s (2017) heuristics for effective gamification design, and Deterding’s (2015) design lenses to create an adaptive gamification system for personalized gamification. The CN2 rule induction machine learning method was used to distill the expert panel created gamification ruleset into a decision-making algorithm. The gamification algorithm matches situations and user types with specific gamification challenges.

The application domain is a computer-supported collaborative learning environment, where software engineering students work together in teams. The aim of the system is to encourage beneficial interactions along the principles of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2012).

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Read more at the CEUR Workshop Proceedings archive of the Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Games-Human Interaction (GHITALY 2017) or the preprint at ResearchGate. Alternatively get an overview from the conference presentation slides.


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Why Do People Use Wearables? A View from Universities

Figure: Wearables Acceptance Model Figure: Wearables Acceptance Model

Wearable devices are in the first big peak of the hype cycle. In the article “Intended use of smartwatches and pedometers in the university environment: an empirical analysis” my collague Jayden and the rest of the team investigate what motivates people to use them. We used his prototype wearable acceptance model (WAM) and partial-least squares path modeling to find causalities in people’s views and their intention to use wearables.

In this initial study we found that the following factors affect people’s decision to use wearables:

  • Performance Expectancy, or the belief that the device will help the user achieve his or her daily goals.
  • Social Influence, or peer pressure.
  • Privacy Concerns.
  • Wearability, or how the devices can be worn. By contrast, aesthetics or other physical characteristics did not affect intention to use.

Additionally, there was an interesting non-affecting factor: Effort Expectancy. Users’ beliefs about the ease of use did not have an impact on their intention to use.

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The paper is available as a preprint at ResearchGate. Full paper metadata is available at ACM Digital Library.


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Experiences from Video Lectures in Software Engineering Education

Figure: Screenshot from a Video Lecture on Gamification Figure: Screenshot from a Video Lecture on Gamification

In this research paper we publish our results from a longitudal study where we observed ten courses that used video instruction as a part of a course. Overall the experiences with video-based learning were positive. The video lectures were perceived to be highly useful by the students and were rated to be the most useful component of the course in a majority of the observed courses. Also, some of the tutorial videos received a lot of traffic from external sources, indicating that the videos provided additional benefit to the wider public.

The problems identified from prior research, especially the added effort and costs of video production, were not not an issue. We also found that unlike in previous literature, the video length did not affect usage patterns or student satisfaction. Previously shorter videos have been recommended, but longer and well-structured videos worked just as well.

One notable statistic is that the majority of viewers used a desktop or a laptop machine (84%), while only a fraction (14%) used mobile devices such as smartphones or tables.

See also our previous work on flipped classroom teaching method, which depends heavily on video lectures (presentation slides on flipped classroom).

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Preprint is available at ResearchGate.


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Increasing Beneficial Interactions in a Computer-Supported Collaborative Environment

Figure: A Three Cycle view of Design Science Research Process Figure: A Three Cycle view of Design Science Research Process (Hevner, 2007)

My recently defended doctoral thesis on computer-supported collaborative work is now available online. The application domain in university level engineering education, and gamification is one of the major methods I investigated and applied. The thesis also includes a rather thorough use of the design science methodology in design, implementation cycles and validation.

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Find the PDF available for free from the Doria library archive.


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