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Enhancing instructional outcomes with a serious gamified system: a qualitative investigation of student perceptions

Hussein Haruna (Writing Lab, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico and Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong)
Asad Abbas (Writing Lab, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)
Zamzami Zainuddin (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong and Public Administration, Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Administrasi Nasional, Lhokseumawe, Aceh, Indonesia)
Xiao Hu (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong)
Robin R. Mellecker (Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong)
Samira Hosseini (Writing Lab, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico and School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 2 April 2021

Issue publication date: 16 July 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the students’ perception of their learning experiences concerning serious gaming and gamification instructions and determines whether they were motivated enough and engaged during the educative process in a resource-poor context. Moreover, the study evaluated the impact of interactive instructional environment outcomes in terms of students’ perceptions of the learning catalysed by gamified systems, particularly in enhancing attitude change coupled with knowledge acquisition.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative research design technique to collect the data. A total of 108 first year secondary school students participated in a sexual health literacy course that lasted for a five-week learning period. Using a cluster-sampling technique, three classes were randomly assigned to serious gaming, gamification and teacher-centred instructions. Individual face-to-face interviews were used to assess students’ perceives required satisfaction with three instructions. Data were audio-recorded, and coding analysis was used using NVivo software facilitated qualitative data analysis.

Findings

The results show that serious gaming and gamification instructions trumped the traditional teacher-centred instruction method. While intervention students were all positive about the serious gaming and gamification instructions, non-intervention students were negative about conservative teacher-centered learning whose limited interactivity also undermined learning relative to the two innovative interventions.

Research limitations/implications

As a justification to limit face-to-face classes, this study may be useful during an emergency phenomenon, including the current situation of amid COVID-19. The implementation of serious gaming and gamification as remotely instructional options could be among the measures to protect educational communities through reducing close-proximity, and eventually, control contamination and the spread of viruses.

Originality/value

The application of serious gaming and game elements should not be conceptualised as universal but context-specific. This study shows that particularism is essential to optimise the results in terms of coming up with a specific design based on the scope of evaluation for positive results and develop an intervention that will work, especially in the resource-poor context of the developing world.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the technical support of Writing Lab, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, in the publication of this work. We also acknowledge the generous support from Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Tom Hall Small Global Health Education Grants for the development of the gamified learning materials. Also, we would like to recognize the advisers, stakeholders, teachers in the host secondary schools, and students who have contributed to the success of this work.

Citation

Haruna, H., Abbas, A., Zainuddin, Z., Hu, X., Mellecker, R.R. and Hosseini, S. (2021), "Enhancing instructional outcomes with a serious gamified system: a qualitative investigation of student perceptions", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 12 No. 5/6, pp. 383-408. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-05-2020-0162

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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