Gamification in higher education. A systematic literature review

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Federica Pelizzari


This article explores the transformative role of gamification in higher education through a systematic literature review. Rooted in the concept of gamefulness, gamification involves the intentional integration of game elements to enhance student engagement and learning experiences. The systematic literature review focuses on gamification in higher education, using the PRISMA model to conduct the analysis. The search protocol employs a rigorous search strategy using five online databases, excluding non-English language articles and duplicates. Adopting an aggregative review approach, the study delves into the theoretical framework of gamification, tracing its definitions, underlying principles and potential impacts on learning outcomes. The narrative textual synthesis of the 53 selected articles reveals a diverse landscape of gamification implementations in higher education, highlighting challenges in the uniformity of theoretical and empirical analyses. Then a thematic analysis is also proposed exploiting the results of a “meta-summary”, to explore the relationships among themes. The conclusions emphasise the need for a functional, working model of gamification implementation to effectively address teaching improvement goals.

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