Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Technology Enhanced Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 60493

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Guest Editor
Mini-Educational Game Development Group, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City 106335, Taiwan
Interests: gamification for learning; learning behavioral pattern analysis; game-based learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the recent revolution of global education, there is a trend towards using digital educational games in teaching and learning, or adapting information technology into gamified teaching and learning activities. Digital game-based learning emphasizes the design and deployment of digital educational games to support teaching. In contrast, gamification focuses on employing game mechanisms and elements (such as points, badges, interaction design, etc.) to transform the learning activity into a game. Gamified learning is not only helpful in strengthening learning motivation and performance—it can also promote essential skills in learners such as problem solving, collaboration, communication, and strategic thinking, etc. Despite there being numerous studies on game-based learning, appropriate application of these findings in teaching practices requires further investigation, in order to bridge the gap between academic research and teaching practices. In this regard, this Special Issue mainly looks for research that employs games or gamification in teaching practices.

The scope of this Special Issue includes designing and employing digital education games, as well as theoretical development, educational game demonstrations, empirical studies, case studies, action research studies, and practices of adapting technology with gamification mechanisms for education. Other topics related to game-based learning and gamification for education are also welcome.

Topics of interest to this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Literature reviews, theories, and trends of game-based learning or gamified teaching
  • Applications and development of educational games in education
  • Action research/case studies of employing game-based learning in education
  • Gamed-based learning activity design and teaching plan
  • Adapting technology in gamified teaching activities
  • Empirical studies of game-based learning and gamified teaching activities
  • Process/behavior analysis of game-based learning and gamified teaching activity
  • Learners’ feedback on game-based learning and gamified teaching activities
  • Interface design of digital educational games
  • Adapting technology in board games or physical games
  • Management of teacher communities for game-based learning and gamified teaching
  • Social culture issues on game-based learning and gamified teaching

Prof. Dr. Huei Tse Hou
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • game-based learning
  • gamification
  • educational games
  • board games

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 175 KiB  
Editorial
Diverse Development and Future Challenges of Game-Based Learning and Gamified Teaching Research
by Huei-Tse Hou
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13040337 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2614
Abstract
Play is one of the most important activities in human life [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

14 pages, 1797 KiB  
Article
Gamification in a News English Course
by Yi-Chien Wang
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010090 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2226
Abstract
Studies examining the link between gamification and News English learning are scant. This study explored the effects of a gamified learning activity using the card games, slides, and learning sheets (CSCL) model on News English learning performance through a quasi-experimental mixed-methods study design. [...] Read more.
Studies examining the link between gamification and News English learning are scant. This study explored the effects of a gamified learning activity using the card games, slides, and learning sheets (CSCL) model on News English learning performance through a quasi-experimental mixed-methods study design. Pretests and post-tests and students’ self-reflections were employed to determine the students’ learning performance and responses to the activity. Gamification significantly and positively affected the experimental group’s (EG) News English learning performance, with the learning performance of both lower and higher achievers improving significantly. Furthermore, the EG participants regarded the activity to be a fun and interactive hands-on experience. Gamification was considered useful for content comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. The mechanisms through which the activity affected News English learning were analyzed, and implications for gamification application in News English and further research are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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18 pages, 804 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Serious Gaming in the Field of Vocational Orientation
by Christopher Keller, Anna K. Döring and Elena Makarova
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010016 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
This study investigates the effectiveness of the serious game like2be, which has been developed to support the individual career orientation process of adolescents by broadening their occupational horizon. In this paper, we present results from an intervention study with n = 809 [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effectiveness of the serious game like2be, which has been developed to support the individual career orientation process of adolescents by broadening their occupational horizon. In this paper, we present results from an intervention study with n = 809 adolescents in Swiss schools at the lower secondary education level. To analyze the extent to which cognitive, affective, and motivational factors are stimulated and what influence they have on expanding knowledge about occupations (measured learning outcome), we applied confirmatory factor analysis, multiple linear regression, and a structural equation model. The results indicate that the stimulation of cognitive processes through serious gaming has a statistically significant impact on learning outcome, although such factors as enjoyment, flow experience, or self-perceived benefits in playing like2be did not significantly impact gain in knowledge about occupations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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28 pages, 2317 KiB  
Article
Room2Educ8: A Framework for Creating Educational Escape Rooms Based on Design Thinking Principles
by Panagiotis Fotaris and Theodoros Mastoras
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12110768 - 29 Oct 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 7496
Abstract
By immersing learners in a playful, interactive, and engaging experience, Educational Escape Rooms (EERs) have been found to enhance learners’ motivation, help them to develop 21st century skills, and improve knowledge acquisition. As research into EERs is still in a preliminary phase, no [...] Read more.
By immersing learners in a playful, interactive, and engaging experience, Educational Escape Rooms (EERs) have been found to enhance learners’ motivation, help them to develop 21st century skills, and improve knowledge acquisition. As research into EERs is still in a preliminary phase, no unified framework about how to design them has been established yet. Additionally, existing frameworks rarely validate the quality and efficacy of the frameworks themselves in terms of usability and usefulness. Therefore, the present paper proposes Room2Educ8, a learner-centred framework for EER design that follows Design Thinking principles. It provides detailed heuristics for empathising with learners, defining learning objectives and constraints, adding narrative, designing puzzles, briefing and debriefing participants, prototyping and playtesting, documenting the whole process, and evaluating the EER experience. A mixed-methods internal validation study based on Instructional Design model validation was conducted with 104 postgraduate students between 2018–2022 to assess the framework’s integrity and use. The study findings suggest that Room2Educ8 can be proposed as a valid tool for developing a wide range of EER types that cover a variety of topics. Its well-described and practical steps make it appropriate for educators regardless of a lack of prior experience in EER design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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13 pages, 2805 KiB  
Article
Topic Evolution in the Research on Educational Gamification
by Jakub Swacha
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12100640 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2085
Abstract
The research on educational gamification spans many topics of interest. As the total volume of research in this area has greatly increased in the last 10 years, it is interesting to see how the interest in the respective topics has changed over the [...] Read more.
The research on educational gamification spans many topics of interest. As the total volume of research in this area has greatly increased in the last 10 years, it is interesting to see how the interest in the respective topics has changed over the same period. In this paper, we answer this question by means of keyword analysis performed on 7572 unique keywords extracted from 2203 papers. The obtained results reveal (1) the high popularity of keywords that are non-obviously relevant to gamification, (2) vast disproportions in the volume of research dedicated to different aspects of the same research sub-area, and (3) differing patterns of popularity among the most frequent keywords, as well as (4) keywords introduced and abandoned in recent years. The presented findings bear a number of implications for the future of research on educational gamification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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19 pages, 5821 KiB  
Article
Let’s Escape! The Impact of a Digital-Physical Combined Escape Room on Students’ Creative Thinking, Learning Motivation, and Science Academic Achievement
by Hsu-Chan Kuo, Ai-Jou Pan, Cai-Sin Lin and Chu-Yang Chang
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(9), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12090615 - 13 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2884
Abstract
Digital and physical escape rooms have been suggested as practical and effective approaches to game-based learning and have recently gained momentum. The deficit of scholarly works that simultaneously implement both types of escape rooms legitimizes this study’s significance and appropriateness. The researchers systematically [...] Read more.
Digital and physical escape rooms have been suggested as practical and effective approaches to game-based learning and have recently gained momentum. The deficit of scholarly works that simultaneously implement both types of escape rooms legitimizes this study’s significance and appropriateness. The researchers systematically combined digital and physical escape rooms and integrated them into fifth-grade science lessons (experimental group N = 22; control group N = 21). Considering that creative thinking is one of the essential competencies in the competitive world, learning motivation is a crucial factor contributing to students’ learning, and academic achievement is a criterion for learning outcomes. The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration), the Learning Motivation Scale (value, expectation, affect, and executive volition), and the science achievement exam were used to quantitatively investigate students’ learning effectiveness. The results indicated that the experimental group’s creative thinking and learning motivation outperformed the control group significantly. Nonetheless, both groups showed no significant difference in science academic achievement. The present study verifies that a digital–physical combined escape room is an effective and practical approach that has the potential to be widely used in schools to benefit students’ learning. Some discussions, educational implications, and suggestions for future studies and practices are offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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13 pages, 5655 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Effect of Badges in the Online Homework System for Undergraduate General Physics Course
by James Uanhoro and Shelley Shwu-Ching Young
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030217 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
Badges in education are an increasingly popular phenomenon, and a variety of questions exists as to the abilities and effectiveness of badges. In this study, the effect of digital badges within a Moodle-based online homework system was studied for an undergraduate general physics [...] Read more.
Badges in education are an increasingly popular phenomenon, and a variety of questions exists as to the abilities and effectiveness of badges. In this study, the effect of digital badges within a Moodle-based online homework system was studied for an undergraduate general physics course at a large research-based university in northeast Taiwan. One hundred and sixty-two participants from two General Physics sessions were involved in this study and divided into two groups through self-selected options. Sixty-eight students in the treatment group could use digital badges in the online homework system, being able to earn one badge per assignment for turning their assignments in earlier than the assignment deadline, while the other students in the control group had no digital badges in the online homework system. The results showed that students in the treatment group turned in their assignments earlier than students in the control group did, and this difference was statistically significant. Further analysis showed that students in the treatment group spaced out their assignment practice more than students in the control group did, and the difference was statistically significant. Additionally, students in the treatment group actively attempted to earn badges, as there was a statistically significant increase in the number of badges earned by students in the treatment group over those in the control group. Based on a questionnaire given to study participants towards the conclusion of the study, the study found that students’ perception of badges was positive. These findings corroborate earlier findings by other researchers that badges can be used to motivate specific behaviors in students whilst requiring minimal changes to the course structure. However, further corroborating earlier research is the finding that badges may not be particularly useful to motivate students towards challenging tasks. An earlier study of this course in a preceding academic year found that students are appreciative of the online homework system, and it appears from this study that the primary function of badges within the system is to enhance the experience of students, as well as to motivate timely engagement with assignments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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13 pages, 1656 KiB  
Article
Enablers and Difficulties in the Implementation of Gamification: A Case Study with Teachers
by Inês Araújo and Ana Amélia Carvalho
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030191 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4041
Abstract
Although there is ample evidence that gamification can engage students in learning, it is less used than one would expect. This raises the question of the difficulties teachers face in planning and implementing gamification in their classes. What enables teachers’ implementation of gamification? [...] Read more.
Although there is ample evidence that gamification can engage students in learning, it is less used than one would expect. This raises the question of the difficulties teachers face in planning and implementing gamification in their classes. What enables teachers’ implementation of gamification? These questions were addressed through a case study, and data were collected along the four phases of a teachers’ training course. The first phase approached the gamification concept, the Octalysis Framework, the types of gamification, and digital tools. The second phase focused on planning the gamification activity, the third one on implementing it with their students in school, and the fourth phase on sharing and reflecting on their experience. It was possible to identify enablers and difficulties that influenced the planning, such as personal background, time available, and technical conditions in the classroom. Most teachers opted for a platform with digital tools that allowed them to apply all the desired features to their gamified activities. The most complex gamified activities were related to the teacher’s gaming experience, use of digital tools, and risk-taking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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14 pages, 33396 KiB  
Article
Developing and Applying a Chinese Character Learning Game App to Enhance Primary School Students’ Abilities in Identifying and Using Characters
by Yao-San Lin, Jie Ni Lim and Yung-Sen Wu
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030189 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3717
Abstract
The Chinese language is the mother tongue that most students in Singapore need to master. However, for many local students, due to the use of English as the main language in Singapore’s families and the living environment, the time and frequency of using [...] Read more.
The Chinese language is the mother tongue that most students in Singapore need to master. However, for many local students, due to the use of English as the main language in Singapore’s families and the living environment, the time and frequency of using Chinese and the exposure to Chinese characters are relatively insufficient, which leads to a high forgetting rate, confusion of the characters and the improper use of Chinese characters. This study attempts to develop an app of a Chinese character learning game for Singapore primary school students, aiming to stimulate students’ interest in learning Chinese, increase their frequency of contact and use of Chinese characters, and ultimately strengthen their ability to remember, understand and use Chinese characters. By collecting the data from students’ questionnaire surveys, teachers’ questionnaire surveys, students’ literacy tests, and classroom observations, the research team found that the designed app can enhance the interest of lower grade primary school students in learning Chinese and strengthen their ability to memorize and use Chinese characters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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16 pages, 1263 KiB  
Article
Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge and Attitudes toward Digital-Game-Based Language Learning
by Jose Belda-Medina and José Ramón Calvo-Ferrer
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030182 - 06 Mar 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5730
Abstract
There is a good body of literature about digital-game-based language learning (DGBL), but research has mainly focused on students as game players rather than as future educators. This paper reports on a research conducted among 154 teacher candidates at a higher-education institution in [...] Read more.
There is a good body of literature about digital-game-based language learning (DGBL), but research has mainly focused on students as game players rather than as future educators. This paper reports on a research conducted among 154 teacher candidates at a higher-education institution in Spain regarding the adoption of digital games in education. It analyzes the participants’ knowledge of and attitudes toward digital games in foreign language learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through a pre/post-test, digital game presentations, and student blog posts. The research comprised five stages associated with critical thinking skills (definition, selection, demonstration, discussion, and reflection), including a game learning module. In the first two stages, preservice teachers completed the module activities and selected different games aimed at teaching English to children in preschool and elementary education. In the last two, they illustrated, discussed, and evaluated the digital games in class following a rubric and reflected on their perception in blog posts. In this four-week research based on a mixed method and convenience sampling, quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through a pre- and post-test survey about student perceptions toward the use of video game in the classroom, class discussion, and blog posts. Statistical data analysis unveiled gender-based differences related to gameplay frequency and genre preferences. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used as a nonparametric statistical hypothesis test to compare the two sets of scores resulting from the same participants, and it showed a significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) after the treatment in two of the five dimensions in the survey about teacher candidates’ attitudes toward game usage in education, namely, usefulness (U) and preference for video games (PVG). Research findings revealed preservice teachers’ positive attitudes but lack of practical knowledge about the use of digital games in foreign-language learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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12 pages, 1920 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of a Board Game in Food and Nutrition Education
by Feng-Kuang Chiang, Shan Wang and Zhonghua Tang
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030162 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4854
Abstract
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increasing concern over health care, part of which involves the role of nutrition. In this study, a nutrition educational board game, featuring quantitative computation, was designed to help students acquire nutrition knowledge and improve dietary [...] Read more.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increasing concern over health care, part of which involves the role of nutrition. In this study, a nutrition educational board game, featuring quantitative computation, was designed to help students acquire nutrition knowledge and improve dietary behaviors. A group of 22 students in grade 7 of a middle school in Beijing were selected as the participants. A single-group pre- and post-test quasi-experimental design was adopted. Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) questionnaires and interviews were used to investigate students’ changes in dietary knowledge, attitude, and behavior. The influence of gender and body mass index (BMI) on the teaching effectiveness was also explored. The results showed that some dimensions of knowledge, attitude, and behavior significantly increased in the students. Their changes in behavior were mainly related to some aspects that were easier to adjust. In addition, the study also found that females and students with abnormal BMI were more likely to be influenced by the educational game to make positive changes in attitude and behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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10 pages, 988 KiB  
Article
Online Escape Room during COVID-19: A Qualitative Study of Social Education Degree Students’ Experiences
by Ana Manzano-León, José Manuel Aguilar-Parra, José M. Rodríguez-Ferrer, Rubén Trigueros, Rocío Collado-Soler, Cristina Méndez-Aguado, María Jesús García-Hernández and Laura Molina-Alonso
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080426 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3890
Abstract
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened an educational shift from face-to-face to online classrooms. This distanced education seeks to achieve learning goals mediated by technology as they would be achieved in the face-to-face classroom, without ignoring the psychological and social impact [...] Read more.
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened an educational shift from face-to-face to online classrooms. This distanced education seeks to achieve learning goals mediated by technology as they would be achieved in the face-to-face classroom, without ignoring the psychological and social impact that COVID-19 has had on students and teachers. Faced with this situation, the use of online educational escape rooms has been proposed as a motivating strategy for students to review curriculum content in a cooperative and fun way. A qualitative investigation was carried out to explore the perceptions of university students in the Social Education degree program after the implementation of an educational escape room. Our main findings are that most students found that it allowed them to interact with their peers beyond traditional education, that it was useful for their learning and that it was a pleasant activity. However, it was also mentioned that it can be a stressful activity as being an online activity, some students may have connectivity problems. It is concluded that online escape rooms can be active and effective learning strategies for university students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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Other

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20 pages, 787 KiB  
Systematic Review
Gamification in Physical Education: A Systematic Review
by Víctor Arufe-Giráldez, Alberto Sanmiguel-Rodríguez, Oliver Ramos-Álvarez and Rubén Navarro-Patón
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12080540 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5907
Abstract
Background: In the last 10 years, gamification has entered the educational field incrementally. The subject of Physical Education has been one of the scenarios where multiple gamified learning environments were carried out. The objective of this work was to evaluate and analyze the [...] Read more.
Background: In the last 10 years, gamification has entered the educational field incrementally. The subject of Physical Education has been one of the scenarios where multiple gamified learning environments were carried out. The objective of this work was to evaluate and analyze the scientific evidence of the pedagogical proposals and didactic experiences that have used gamification in the Physical Education classroom in Kindergarten, Elementary School and Middle, Junior and High School. Methods: A systematic review has been carried out following the recommendations set by the PRISMA Declaration. A total of five international databases were used: Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, Sport Discus, ERIC and Psycinfo. The descriptors “gamification”, “gamify” and “Physical Education” were used, limiting the search to December 2021. Several inclusion and exclusion criteria have been established, selecting only empirical research articles. Results: The search yielded a total of 177 eligible articles, and finally, 17 scientific articles that addressed the effects of gamification in Physical Education were selected. No gamified didactic experiences have been found in Early Childhood Education, but they have been found in Elementary School (7 experiences) and Middle, Junior and High School Education (10 experiences). Most of the studies have confirmed an improvement in motivation and commitment toward physical exercise in students; only one study has confirmed improvements in academic performance. The diversity of the applied protocols and the different evaluation instruments used by the researchers prevent a meta-analysis of the data. Some studies that have used a hybrid pedagogical model are recorded, combining gamification with other pedagogical models, and confirmed positive effects on different variables such as intrinsic motivation or autonomy in learning. Conclusion: The results of this review suggest the need to continue evaluating the effects of applying gamification, as an active methodology, in the Physical Education classroom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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13 pages, 1786 KiB  
Systematic Review
Models of Instructional Design in Gamification: A Systematic Review of the Literature
by Alberto González-Fernández, Francisco-Ignacio Revuelta-Domínguez and María Rosa Fernández-Sánchez
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010044 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4829
Abstract
Gamification allows for the implementation of experiences that simulate the design of (video) games, giving individuals the opportunity to be the protagonists in them. Its inclusion in the educational environment responds to the need to adapt teaching–learning processes to the characteristics of homo [...] Read more.
Gamification allows for the implementation of experiences that simulate the design of (video) games, giving individuals the opportunity to be the protagonists in them. Its inclusion in the educational environment responds to the need to adapt teaching–learning processes to the characteristics of homo videoludens, placing value once again on the role of playful action in the personal development of individuals. The interest that has arisen in studying the implications of gamification processes in the different educational stages, in order to determine their impact and suitability, has led to an increase in scientific publications. With the intention of studying the presence and implications of gamification in teacher training as a methodological principle implemented in the teaching–learning process, both in its initial and permanent stages, this systematic review of the literature identifies those instructional design models applied in the field of gamification, as well as its educational significance. Thus, the need to introduce gamified practices in the field of teacher training is observed, providing an experiential learning that allows teachers to apply this methodology in a relevant way in their professional development, based on their own experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game-Based Learning and Gamification for Education)
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