Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 4925–4949 | Cite as

Gamified probes for cooperative learning: a case study



This paper advances the idea of tangible gamified probes for cooperative learning processes, which require synchronous in-presence and in-situ interactions. The paper focuses on gamified probes for promoting a sense of progression and control, as well as social relations in a cooperative learning process in classroom. It reports a case study in a primary school. The study employed gamified probes as early-design solutions: each probe had limited ad-hoc functionalities, tested in the field, and was flexible enough to enable different usages so as to inspire designers. Probes were also endowed with embedded micro-electronic components for enhancing their interaction with children and human-to-human interaction, besides for storing relevant interaction data. After reporting the study results, the paper discusses them, and it concludes reflecting on the design of future gamified probes for enhancing cooperative learning in classroom.


Gamification Self determination theory Technology probes Gamified tangibles User experience Cooperative learning 


  1. 1.
    Adams E (2013) Fundamentals of game design, 3rd edn. New Riders Press, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Andres J, Lai JC, Mueller FF (2015) Guiding young players as designers. In Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (pp. 445–450). ACMGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arduino (2015). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 2015, from Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brondino M, Dodero G, Gennari R, Melonio A, Pasini M, Raccanello D, Torello S (2015) Emotions and inclusion in co-design at school: let’s measure them! In Proc. of Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for Technology Enhanced Learning, pp 1–8. Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-19632-9_1
  5. 5.
    Casas I, Collazos C, Guerrero LA, Leiva C, Ochoa S, Puente J (2010) Addressing computer-supported collaborative learning in the classroom: experiences in engineering education. Proc - Soc Behav Sci 2(2):2685–2688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Challis B (2015) Tactile interaction. In Soegaard M, Friisdam R (Eds) The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. IDF. Retrieved from:
  7. 7.
    Collazos C, Guerrero LA, Pino J, Ochoa S (2004) A method for evaluating computer-supported collaborative learning processes. Int J Comput Appl Technol 19(3/4):151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Deci EL, Ryan RM (1985) Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. Plenum, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deci EL, Ryan RM (2000) The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of goal pursuits: human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychol Inq 11:227–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Deterding S (2011) Situated motivational affordances of game elements: a conceptual model. In Workshop “Gamification: using game design elements in non-gaming contexts”, co-located with CHI 2011. Available online at:
  11. 11.
    Deterding S, Sicart M, Nacke L, O’Hara K, Dixon D (2011) Gamification. Using game-design elements in non-gaming contexts. In CHI’11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA’11, pages 2425–2428, New York, NY, USA. ACMGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    DiMicco JM, Hollenbach KJ, Pandolfo A, Bender W (2007) The impact of increased awareness while face-to-face. Human Comput Interact 22:47–96Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dodero G, Gennari R, Melonio A, Torello S (2014a) Gamified co-design with cooperative learning. In Proceedings of In CHI ’14 Extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 707–718 Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dodero G, Gennari R, Melonio A, Torello S (2014b) Towards tangible gamified co-design at school: two studies in primary schools. In Proceedings of the first ACM SIGCHI annual symposium on Computer-human interaction in play (CHI PLAY ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 77–86. doi: 10.1145/2658537.2658688
  15. 15.
    Dodero G, Gennari R, Melonio A, Torello S (2015) “There is no rose without a thorn”: an assessment of a game design experience for children. In Proceedings of the 11th Biannual Conference on Italian SIGCHI Chapter (CHItaly 2015). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 10–17. doi: 10.1145/2808435.2808436
  16. 16.
    Dourish P (1997) Extending awareness beyond synchronous collaboration. In Proceedings of the CHI’97 workshop on awareness in collaboration systems. New York: ACMGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Druin A (2002) The role of children in the design of new technology. Behav Inf Technol 21:1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ehn P, Kyng M (1987) The collective resource approach to system design. Bjerknes et alGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gaver B, Dunne T, Pacenti E (1999) Cultural probes. Interactions 6(1):21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Graves T (1991) The controversy over group rewards in coopera- tive classrooms. Educ Leadersh 48:77–79Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Glover I (2013) Play as you learn: gamification as a technique for motivating learners. In World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2013Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Greenbaum J, Kyng M (eds) (1992) Design atWork: Cooperative Design of Computer Systems. L. Erlbaum Associates Inc., HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Guerrero LA (2009) A collaborative learning activity and a software tool for improving language skills. 13th International Conference on CSCW in Design (CSCWD 2009), Santiago, Chile, April 2009, pp 516–521Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hamari J, Koivisto J, Sarsa H (2014) Does gamification work?: a literature review of empirical studies on gamification. In Proc. of 47th Hawaii International Conference on System SciencesGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hanus MD, Fox J (2014) Assessing the effects of gamification in the classroom: a longitudinal study on intrinsic motivation, social comparison, satisfaction, effort, and academic performance. Comput Educ 80:152–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Horn MS, Crouser RJ, Bers MU (2012) Tangible interaction and learning: the case for a hybrid approach. Pers Ubiquit Comput 16(4):379–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hsin-Yuan Huang W, Soman D (2013) A practitioner’s guide to gamification of education. Research Report Series Behavioural Economics in ActionGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Huang K, Sparto PJ, Kiesler S, Smailagic A, Mankoff J, Siewiorek D (2014) A technology probe of wearable in-home computer-assisted physical therapy. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2541–2550. doi: 10.1145/2556288.2557416
  29. 29.
    Hutchinson H, Mackay W, Westerlund B, Bederson BB, Druin A, Plaisant C, Beaudouin-Lafon M, Conversy S, Evans H, Hansen H, Roussel N, Eiderbäck B (2003) Technology probes: inspiring design for and with families. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’03). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17–24. doi: 10.1145/642611.642616
  30. 30.
    Johnson D, Johnson R (2002) An overview of cooperative learning. Creativity and Collaborative LearningGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kagan S (1990) The structural approach to cooperative learning. Educ Leadersh 47:12–15Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kapp KM (2012) The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. Pfeiffer, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lidwell W, Holden K, Butler J (2010) Universal principles of design. Rockport PublishersGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lindsay S, Jackson D, Schofield G, Olivier P (2012) Engaging older people using participatory design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1199–1208. doi: 10.1145/2207676.2208570
  35. 35.
    Lynch PJ, Horton S (2015) Web style guide online. Retrieved in December 2015,
  36. 36.
    Rogers I (2015) Playful interactions in public. In Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 127–127. doi: 10.1145/2793107.2801717
  37. 37.
    Rubegni E, Landoni M (2014). Fiabot!: design and evaluation of a mobile storytelling application for schools. In Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 165–174. doi:10.1145/2593968.2593979
  38. 38.
    Sanders EB, Stappers PJ (2008) Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign: Int J CoCreation Des Arts 4(1):5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Schuler D, Namioka A (eds) (1993) Participatory Design: Principles and Practices. L. Erlbaum Associates Inc., HillsdaleGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Seaborn K, Fels DI (2015) Gamification in theory and action: a survey. Int J Hum-Comput Stud 74:14–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Shkirando E (2014) Game probes: design space exploration in the area of multilingual family communication. MSc Thesis, Malmö University, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Simões J, Redondo RD, Vilas AF (2013) A social gamification framework for a K-6 learning platform. Comput Hum Behav 29(2):345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Slavin RE (1991) Student Team Learning: a Practical Guide to Cooperative Learning. National Education Association of the United States, DCGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Stevens RJ, Slavin RE (1995) The cooperative elementary school: effects on students’ achievement, attitude and social relationships. Am Educ Res J 32:321–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Tullis W, Albert W (2013) Measuring the user experience. KaufmannGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zuckerman O, Gal-Oz A (2013) To TUI or not to TUI: evaluating performance and preference in tangible vs. graphical user interfaces. Int J Hum-Comput Stud 71(7):803–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Computer ScienceFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBolzanoItaly

Personalised recommendations