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The Active Methodology of Gamification to Improve Motivation and Academic Performance in Educational Context: A Meta-Analysis

Javier Mula-Falcón, Iñaki Moya-Roselló, Alberto Ruiz-Ariza

Abstract: Gamification is an active methodology that involves using game elements in a non-game situation. Gamification has shown to increase motivation and learning in different types of academic students; however, the educational literature shows inconclusive findings. The aim of this meta-analysis is to analyse the effects of gamification on motivation and academic performance in an educational context. Sixteen interventions carried out between January 2010 and the end of January 2022 were retrieved from the databases and included in this meta-analysis. One study was carried out in Primary school, three in Secondary school, and twelve in universities. Four papers analysed the effects on motivation, five on academic performance and seven on both. Results showed that gamification could increase the motivation (SMD = 0.51; 95% CI [0.29, 0.73]; I2 59%; p < 0.00001) and academic performance (SMD = 0.89; 95% CI [0.45, 1.32]; I2 90%; p < 0.0001) in all the educational stages. The implications of including gamification programmes in the educational context are discussed.
Keywords: motivation / gamification / academic performance / January / SMD / game / educational context

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