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The impact of game-based learning (GBL) on students’ motivation, engagement and academic performance on an Arabic language grammar course in higher education


The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of game-based learning (GBL) on students’ motivation, engagement and academic performance on an Arabic language grammar course at Ajman University. The study was carried out utilizing a case study of quasi-empirical design. The respondents were 107 learners, grouped into two groups: one empiric group (n = 54) that used the game-based classroom response system; and the other a control group (n = 53) which was instructed using non-game-based methods. The game-based online assessment tool Kahoot! was used as a formative assessment method in the lectures, and a questionnaire was designed to measure motivation and engagement. The findings indicated that there were statistical differences in the benefit of the empiric group between the empiric and the control groups between the groups. Empirical group students showed more improved knowledge of the concepts taught on the Arabic language grammar course, and higher motivation than the students taught using the traditional strategy.

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Availability of data and materials

We would have loved to share the data however, the data is primary in nature and the authors do not wish to share the data as this may breach participant confidentiality.


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The authors’ would like to thank Ajman University for their cooperative and the dean of scientific research for his guidance and mentorship.

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All authors were involved in research design, implementation of the study, data gathering, data analysis, and writing of the manuscript. All authors approve submission of the manuscript for publication consideration. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Najeh Rajeh Alsalhi.

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Ethical considerations

This study was approved by Research Ethics Committee /Deanship of Graduate Studies and Research of Ajman University (Reference Number: F - H - 1 5–1 - 0 1).

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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As authors, we declare that have no significant financial, professional or personal interests that may affect the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript. (The authors declare that they have no competing interests).

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Eltahir, M.E., Alsalhi, N.R., Al-Qatawneh, S. et al. The impact of game-based learning (GBL) on students’ motivation, engagement and academic performance on an Arabic language grammar course in higher education. Educ Inf Technol 26, 3251–3278 (2021).

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  • Game-based learning
  • Academic performance
  • Motivation
  • Engagement
  • Impact
  • Higher education