Design of an app based on gamification and storytelling as a tool for biology courses

  • Celeste C. Ibarra-HerreraEmail author
  • Alejandro Carrizosa
  • Julián A. Yunes-Rojas
  • Marco A. Mata-Gómez
Original Paper


Engineering students often have little motivation for biology topics, thus tools that promote their interest and motivation are needed to improve the teaching–learning process in this area. The tools also should aid in the development of student competencies, a key objective of the new educational model of Tecnologico de Monterrey, the Tec21 model. In this context, an interactive approach involving app with elements of gamification and storytelling has been designed and tested in our project. Results showed that the students felt motivated after using the app (p value < 0.05). The element of gamification showed to be attractive to the students, but the tool of storytelling did not result that attractive (p value < 0.05 and p value > 0.05, respectively). Interestingly, students would recommend the use of this app to other students and professors (p value < 0.05). Additionally, most of the students approved the test involving the fundamentals of the central dogma of biology—a series of processes that cells use when replicating and when fabricating proteins, and a substantial majority of students felt that videos related to this topic are helpful. Thus, this app, Bio3D, can be considered in its first-version level as satisfactory in its measures of increasing student motivation and improving the teaching–learning process regarding the central dogma of biology. Further work will entail the upgrade of this app to include augmented reality in order to generate a full technological platform supporting efforts to increase the interaction and participation of the students and the professor in the course, thus enhancing the teaching–learning process.


App Biology Educational innovation Engineers Gamification Storytelling Tec21 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Novus Grant with PEP No. PHHT046-17CX00003 and the financial and the technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs, and Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico in the production of this work. As well, we give special thanks to Iván Valiente, Paola Garzón, María José Morales Saucedo, Hera Andrade, Karina Carmona, Paloma Salinas, Ana Cristina Nogales, Pablo Vera Terán and Dunia Salas for their collaboration during the development of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and ScienceTecnologico de MonterreyPueblaMexico
  2. 2.School of Humanities and EducationTecnologico de MonterreyPueblaMexico

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