Gamification: a new key for enhancing engagement in MOOCs on energy?


Gamification is an innovative educational strategy that uses elements of games for educational purposes, including the completion of appealing challenges to increase student levels of engagement and learning. The objective of this research is to assess the effects of gamification as a teaching method used in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about clean and conventional energy. This research is part of the project “Laboratorio Binacional para la Gestión Inteligente de la Sustentabilidad Energética y la Formación Tecnológica” [Binational Laboratory for the Intelligent Management of Sustainable Energy and Technological Formation]. A total of 4819 participants enrolled in the course, 621 passed the course, and 647 completed the gamified challenge. Results show the impact of gamification on the cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions, where more than 90% of the participants agreed about feeling more motivated and challenged than when using traditional teaching methods. Therefore, the use of this methodology in online teaching could be very impactful in personalizing and enhancing the learning opportunities of massive, open online courses.

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This research has been conducted under an international project entitled Binational Laboratory for the Intelligent Management of Sustainable Energy and Technological Formation, with the financing of sustainable energy fund CONACYT-SENER (Reference: 266632. Agreement: S0019201401). The authors would like to acknowledge the financial and technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, in the publication of this work.

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Correspondence to Elvira G. Rincón-Flores.

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Juanjo Mena is an associate professor in the Department of Education at the University of Salamanca (Spain). His research focusses on mentoring and practicums, teacher education, and information and communications technology. His work on this article was performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.

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Rincón-Flores, E.G., Mena, J. & Montoya, M.S.R. Gamification: a new key for enhancing engagement in MOOCs on energy?. Int J Interact Des Manuf 14, 1379–1393 (2020).

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  • Gamification
  • Engagement
  • Educational innovation
  • Higher education