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Quest-Based Learning: A Scoping Review of the Research Literature


Quest-based learning (QBL) is a choice-driven approach that integrates game elements in a gamified or game-based learning environment. A scoping review of the research literature was conducted to examine the extent, range and nature of the QBL research activity, how the approach has been used in educational practice and what benefits or disadvantages have been reported. A sample of 17 journal articles and papers published from 2009 through 2020 were reviewed. Researchers studied the feasibility of implementing QBL in real-world learning environments (e.g., classrooms), how to design the quest structure or framework and how motivation is influenced by the choice-driven system of QBL. Benefits reported in the research include positive student response to the approach, flexible learning paths and options to revise and improve work. Disadvantages include mixed results for motivation, substantial time investment for teachers and challenges for students that include issues with time management, frustration with QBL design, limited social interaction and mixed perceptions of the merits of game elements in QBL design.

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*Articles and papers sampled for the scoping review are marked with an asterisk.

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Correspondence to Chareen Snelson.

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Snelson, C. Quest-Based Learning: A Scoping Review of the Research Literature. TechTrends (2021).

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  • Gamification
  • Game-based learning
  • Quest-based learning
  • Literature review
  • Scoping review