Monday, December 16, 2013

eMOOCs 2014: Call for Papers

An invitation from the EMOOCs 2014 Team for the EMOOCs 2014 Summit, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Feb 10-12, 2014:

"Dear Sir/Madam,

Have you heard of the recent global phenomenon that is revolutionizing education?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have the potential to disrupt the higher education system. Did you know, for instance, that the number of MOOCs in Europe has more than tripled since the beginning of 2013? Do you want to learn about the opportunities that MOOCs can bring to your sector? How to plan, produce and run a MOOC?

We invite you to join the EMOOCs 2014 Summit of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from the world of MOOCs in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Feb 10-12, 2014, to discuss the latest developments and find areas of common interest. EMOOCSs 2014 offers a series of workshops, meetings and the tutorial “All you need to know about MOOCs”.

With the input and participation of active MOOC stakeholders such as yourself, we intend to collectively shape the future of higher education in Europe.

Learn more about the programme and register for this unique event. The deadline for registration is the 1st of February 2014.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to receive any additional information. 

Sincerely yours,

The EMOOCs 2014 Team

Important Dates
  • Submissions deadline:  October 4, 2013
  • Notification of acceptance: November 15, 2013
  • Camera ready papers due: January 5, 2014
An interesting view about how europe is dealing with MOOCs can be seen in this page from Open Education Europe with a distribution of MOOCs per country:

Spain is clearly on the lead with 129 MOOCs followed by the UK (69), France (48) and Germany (47).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Paper in the Special Issue of eLearning Papers on PLE

I have a new paper on my proposal for a gamification framework. It was published on november, 19, in the Special Issue of eLearning Papers on Personal Learning Environments (issue nº 35). The paper is co-authored with Rebeca Redondo (University of Vigo), Ana Vilas (University of Vigo) and Ademar Aguiar (University of Porto).

The paper, A gamification framework to improve participation in social learning environments, describes a gamification framework applied to the integration of game elements in Social Learning Environments. The framework is being applied in, a Social Learning Environment for K6.
This paper presents a gamification framework applied to the integration of game elements in Social Learning Environments. The framework is being applied to a K6 Social Learning Environment leading to a gamified system. With this gamified system it is expected to achieve a raise in the motivation to use the platform with students becoming more loyal users. It is also expected that they will be deeper involved and engaged in educational activities supported by the environment. The proposed gamification framework includes architecture for a gamified system and a guide to help the development of gamified activities.

See also this post - PLE and Smart Cities - from Ilona Buchem, one of the guest editors of this special issue of eLearning Papers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Poster at the Workshop on Monitoring PhD Student Progress

Poster presented at the Workshop on Monitoring PhD Student Progress, November 8th, 2013. The workshop took place in the University of Vigo, Spain and it was organised by the PhD Programme Doc_TIC together with other programmes.  

One of the workshop's activities was the presentation of the on-going thesis work by the PhD students of the organising programmes, with a poster or in an oral session. This was my contribution:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eden 2014 Annual Conference

The Eden 2014 Annual Conference will take place in Zagreb from 10 to 13 June. 

"Workplace-based training supported by ICT tools is part of the solution to reduce skill shortages and mismatches. E-learning has become a dominant delivery method in learning settings at work across various sectors and a wide range of company sizes. Its advantages may be many, including flexibility, cost and time savings, and new work habits and improved working climate. ICT-enhanced learning may improve organisational performance and lead to increased staff commitment and the generation of new ideas."

The 2013 Annual Conference Proceedings are available at the EDEN website.

Important Dates:
  • Paper Submission: 31 January 2014
  • Registration Open: mid-February 2014
  • Notification of Authors: 28 March 2014

Thursday, November 07, 2013

EJML 2014

O 2º Encontro sobre Jogos e Mobile-Learning vai ter lugar na na Universidade de Coimbra a 9 de maio de 2014.

Entre outros temas, os jogos e a sua aplicação no ensino, serão abordados no encontro. Destacam-se os Serious Games e a Gamification.

Tema - Jogos e aprendizagem
  • Jogos e m-Learning

  • Serious games

  • Experiências com jogos em contexto educativo

  • Os jogos e as redes sociais
  • Gamification
Apesar do encontro contar com oradores estrangeiros, estranha-se que o website do evento (que é muito básico) esteja apenas redigido em português. Fica a sugestão de um website, pelo menos também em inglês.

Datas importantes:

Até 31 de janeiro de 2014
▪ Submissão das comunicações e posters (texto completo)

28 de fevereiro de 2014
▪ Notificação aos autores do resultado da avaliação

Até 15 de março de 2014
▪ Envio da versão final da comunicação e poster
▪ Inscrição e pagamento dos autores da comunicação

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


The International Congress on Education, Innovation and Learning Technologies, will be held in Barcelona, from 23 to 25 July 2014.

This congress is organized by Professors from the C3i/Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre (Portugal) and the Extremadura University (Spain).

Scientific Areas:
  • Education;
  • Innovation and Learning Technologies;
  • Engineering Education.
Important Dates:
  • Abstracts sending: February 6th 2014;
  • Acceptance notification: February 21st 2014;
  • Complete Communications sending: April 8th 2014.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

A New Karl Kapp's Gamification Book

Another gamification book, authored by Karl Kapp will be available by mid November: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction Fieldbook: Ideas into Practice. It follows the other Kapp's book on gamification, published in 2012: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education (see this post).

Following Karl Kapp's earlier book The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, this Fieldbook provides a step-by-step approach to implementing the concepts from the Gamification book with examples, tips, tricks, and worksheets to help a learning professional or faculty member put the ideas into practice. The Online Workbook, designed largely for students using the original book as a textbook, includes quizzes, worksheets and fill-in-the-blank areas that will help a student to better understand the ideas, concepts and elements of incorporating gamification into learning.

Is is allready possible to preorder the book at Amazon (paperback). Kindle edition is available.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

WorldCIST'14: Call for Papers

Call for papers for the 2014 World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (WorldCIST'14) is a global forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, results, experiences and concerns in the several perspectives of Information Systems and Technologies.

Main themes: 
  • Information and Knowledge Management (IKM); 
  • Organizational Models and Information Systems (OMIS); 
  • Intelligent and Decision Support Systems (IDSS); 
  • Software Systems, Architectures, Applications and Tools (SSAAT); 
  • Computer Networks, Mobility and Pervasive Systems (CNMPS); 
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); 
  • Health Informatics (HIS); 
  • Information Technologies in Education (ITE).

Important Dates :
  • Paper Submission: November 15, 2013 
  • Notification of Acceptance: January 10, 2014  
  • Camera-ready Submission: January 19, 2014

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Leaderboards: A Social Game Element (Part II)

Another paper presented at Gamification 2013 shows how to use a leaderboard to improve behaviour change (see this previous post Leaderboards: A Social Game Element). 

The paper, Time's Up: Studying Leaderboards For Engaging Punctual Behaviour (João Costa, Rina Renee Wehbe, James Robb and Lennart E. Nacke) studies the use of a leaderboard for improving punctuality of participants to regular work meetings. Again, the authors conclude that leaderboards are more effective if they are used as a social game mechanic. They conducted an experiment where data were collected from 28 participants, members of the Laboratory of Games And Media Entertainment Research (GAMERLab). The arrival times to meetings of laboratory members were recorded for nine meetings.
Concerning the different kinds of leaderboads, discussed in the previous post, the leaderboard in this experiment was a multiplayer leaderboard, ranking high performance peers.

These are the authors' main conclusions:

"Our study showed that leaderboards do give way to positive social behaviours like social comparisons, which were of great importance to the majority of the participants, in particular to assess their improvement or standing in comparison to those who were of their interest, as opposed to assessing themselves in the global panorama of punctuality.
In conclusion, our study shows the possibility of gamifying meetings to improve the punctuality of the work group. This can help individuals project a better self-image, keep on task and increase their productivity.

The paper is available in the conference proceedings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Leaderboards: A Social Game Element

Leaderboards are one of the most popular game elements that are used in gamified systems, along with points, badges or achievements (see How Gamification Can Drive Behavioural Change). Essentially they appeal to extrinsic motivation and are a means to give feedback to the players. Badges are probably at the top of this list. They are used in many systems and recently, Moodle's latest version also includes badges (see All About Badges and Open Badges). There is a lot of information, blog posts and academic papers about how to use badges and there are even MOOCs on badges.

On the other hand, leaderboards are less mentioned although they are also common in gamified systems. Applications like Leaderboarded can be used to easily create leaderbords. Gamified systems in the education sector do not use leaderboards so often, probably because they appeal to competition.

A recent paper presented at Gamification 2013 (see this other post), Reimagining Leaderboards: Towards Gamifying Competency Models through Social Game Mechanics, discusses how to use leaderboards as social game mechanic. Leaderboards are game elements that can be collaborative and qualitative and not only quantitative and competetive. In this way, leaderboards are a social game element. The paper proposes a framework that uses a prosocial leaderboards. Prosocial interactions occur when individuals act in the interest of others.

The paper defines social gamification as "... an emerging subgenre of gamified systems that use game mechanics and elements from social games, which feature interactions designed for close peers and direct ties to social networking systems , in which they are often embedded". It then cites one of our previous works, A Social Gamification Framework for a K-6 Learning Platform, mentioning that in our proposal, game elements were taken directly from social games. We also have our own definition of social gamification: the use of design elements from social games in non-game contexts to drive game like engagement in order to promote desired behaviours

In the Gamification 2013 paper, leaderbords are defined as "... a performance comparison game element". They can be single or mutiplayer. Single player leaderboards compare the players latest score to the previous scores. Multiplayer leaderboards can display rankings of near performing peers (a usual approach in social games) or rankings of high performing peers (where players with lower score may not be present, leading to demotivation, which is a drawback for this kind of leaderboards).

An example of a multiplayer leaderboard of high performing peers is the Gamification Gurus Leaderboard built with Leaderboarded:

The prosocial learderboard approach uses elements like status, scarcity, karma points and group leaderboard. These elements are used to encourage prosocial behaviours. In this prosocial approach all users must benefit and social interaction is achieved through altruism, sharing, reciprocity and gratitude. The concept is being applied in a competency-based assessment system for medical education.

Leaderboards, that at first are nothing more than an extrinsic motivator can, in this approach, be used to promote social interaction and to foster intrinsic motivation. It appeals to relatedeness and to a feeling of doing something not just for our own sake but for the sake of our group or community.


Seaborn, K., Pennefather, P., Fels, D. (2013). Reimagining Leaderboards: Towards Gamifying Competency Models through Social Game Mechanics, Proceedings of Gamification 2013, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 107-110

Simões, J., Redondo, R. D., Vilas, A. F. (2013). A Social Gamification Framework for a K-6 Learning Platform. Advanced Human-Computer Interaction 29, 2, 345–353.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

(Shared by Zac Fitz-Walter on Gamification Weekly, issue 20)

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion (DGEI): The Potential of Digital Games for Empowerment and Social Inclusion of Groups at Risk of Social and Economic Exclusion: Evidence and Opportunity for Policy (European Comission - Joint Research Centre, Information Society Unit).
This report shows the potential of games to support those at risk of social and economic exclusion (Gamification Weekly). The report finds that "games-based approaches offer a particular opportunity to reach people at risk" in particular young people not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs).

Gamification, as a new concept is referred. A definition is provided and the relation of gamification with serious games is addressed. Also, the report mentions the potential of using digital games in education.

Definition of Gamification (Glossary, page 205):

Applying game design elements to non-game activities, often with the goal of engaging people more in these activities.

The “Serious Game” and "Gamification" Industries (page 125)
However none of these terms has captured the imagination so much as the term ‘Gamification’, a sufficiently vague concept that has served to reinvigorating some of the serious game work, which may be too serious, Gamification focuses on how to exploit the gameplay elements of digital games in applications that are not digital games, but in practice implementations are frequently based in online services and mobile apps. In 2012, Gamification ideas, long used in weight-loss and child motivation, are attracting considerable interest from consultants and policy makers linked to ideas of 'nudging'. However it is not immediately clear whether those with the expertise to develop gamification are game designers or have any relationship with digital games development, and whether the tools of gamification can be considered part of 'serious games and gaming'. However discussion of gamification often end up addressing 'serious games', and proponents of ‘serious games’ are starting to appropriate the term to promote their own work. As Escribano (2012) suggests, conventional and low key use of game approaches has taken a technological turn (Escribano, 2012). One of the key popularisers of the idea through her games and publications is game designer Jane McGonigal, who explicitly developed the idea in developing an online tool with game-based techniques to promote personal empowerment, using the resilience approach. Clearly, the current trend of gamification is closely linked to the potential of ICTs, and the rich tools of digital gaming, and the popularity of the gamification idea focuses attention more clearly on the game like motivational elements of 'serious gaming' rather than the technological elements.

Education (page 128)
Use of digital games in the education sector is one of the oldest applications of games. From the supply side they can be developed as part of an educational publishing business, and more recently, the elearning industry. However, educational games, according to the report of the EC Engage project122, have always been "low budget, low tech, poor cousins of the computer game industry. Up until recently, very few commercial companies have provided good quality educational games. Historically, these games have been written by teachers and academics who wish to utilize the technology within there teaching, but usually do not have the skill, not the finance, to create a high quality product". This is changing with new expertise, tools andchanging business models for distribution. Games in education can be replacements for text books and other media, or tools for game-making and a more radical gamified approach to teaching and learning. Serious uptake in the formal education sector however, depends on significant innovation in practices of formal schooling, and in the procurement and certification systems for education products.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gamification 2013: Proceedings

The Gamification 2013, the First International Conference on Gameful Design, Research, and Applications was a three-day, dual-track conference that took place in the University of Waterloo (October, 2-4). 

Education and Serious Games were some of the conference topics:

"This conference is the first of its kind and we will use this opportunity to unite the burgeoning area of gamification with the best approaches from professional user experience and game designers. Our program is a blend of academic research and experimental applications with industry and non-profit examples, procedures, best practices, goals and results. It gives an idea of what all is now possible in the field of gamification. Our topics range from using citizen science games for motivation to best practices of exergames and classroom gamification. Not to forget the necessary discussion of the overlap between serious games and gamification".

In this conference gamification is defined as the use of "... game design in systems that primarily support non-game tasks to make them more fun, engaging, and motivating. With this motivational power of games comes great responsibility to go beyond using playful badges and point systems to truly tap into the intrinsic motivation of users".

The conference proceedings are available. Here are some of the papers related to gamification of education:

Full Papers:
  • Competition as an Element of Gamification for Learning: an Exploratory Longitudinal Investigation; 
  • Improving Participation and Learning with Gamification; 
  • The Design and Evaluation of a Classroom Exergame;
  • Driven to drive: Designing gamification for a learner logbook smartphone application;
  • Gamification and Serious Game Approaches for Introductory Computer Science Tablet Software.
Short Papers:
  • Gamifying Behaviour that Leads to Learning;
  • Improving Student Creativity with Gamification and Virtual Worlds.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Once again, the Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 is open until Friday 27 September 2013. The list will be revealed on Monday, 30 September 2013. It is possible to vote through the c4lpt website or by tweeting to @C4LPT. Voters much choose 10 tools for learning.

This is my choice for 2013:
Friday 27 September 2013, and the Top 100 Tools list will be revealed on Monday 30 September 2013. - See more at:

Two of these tools are gamification tools (Leaderboarded and ClassDojo) that I used before. Moodle is a well known e-learning tool that has been used in several learning scenarios (current release is using badges - see this post). Twitter can also be a very valuable if we choose the right people to follow.

Meanwhile, last year's list is available: The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 (#1 Twitter). For the 2011 list see this post (also, Twitter #1).

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2
The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012
Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 201
Vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013

All About Badges and Open Badges

“if a resumé or CV is a bunch of claims, Open Badges are a bunch of evidence”

Badges are definitely the top game element used in gamified systems (possibly because it is the  easiest one to use). In education, badges have been used for some time. The latest release of Moodle, Moodle 2.5, includes badges. Moodle's badges are compatible with Mozilla Open Badges. A FAQ is available to help teachers awarding them.

According to Moodle, badges are a good way of celebrating achievement and showing progress.

A free set of badges that can be used in Moodle or in any other website is available at MoodleBadges. is a service for creating and issuing badges. Apparently it only works with Mozilla Open Badges. With it is also possible to create badges.

To know more about badges and how to use them in education scenarios, a MOOC supported by COURSESites is starting in September 9: Welcome to Badges: New Currency for Professional Credentials.

A video available in the course overview highlights some of the benefits of badges:

Here are some of the key ideas:

A badge is a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality or interest that can be earned in any learning environment.

The  Open Badge infrastructure will make it easy to issue, display, and manage badges across the web.

Digital badges will make the accomplishments of individuals, in online and offline spaces, visible to anyone and averyone including potential employers, educators and communities.

Badges can be used in formal and informal learning scenarios. They are a tool to show individual accomplishments and a way to promote lifelong learning. P2PU is an example of an open education project aiming at lifelong and informal learning (and it uses badges). Rails for Zombies is another example of the use of badges to learn Ruby on Rails (in the zombie way :).

See also these other posts:

Badges & Educação (in portuguese but with some links in english).

More on Badges (title in english but contents in portuguese).

The MoodleBadge for Creative Thinking

Friday, August 30, 2013

Monitoring Players Activities in Gamified Systems

The most popular definition of gamification is the widely quoted definition from Deterding, Dixon, Khaled and Nacke (2011): “the use of design elements characteristic for games in non-game contexts”. This definition can be extended to the use of game design elements in non-game contexts, to drive game like engagement in order to promote desired behaviours.

A gamified system can then be defined as any non-game context with the addition of game elements. The purpose of a gamified system is to engage users and influence their behaviours in order to reach the system’s objectives more efficiently.

A Gamified System
If the context is digital, then the gamified system is some software application incorporating those game elements. The system can be a website or a web application. It can run on a server and be accessed by a computer with a web browser or it can be an app running on a smartphone storing data in the cloud. The system can be built as a gamified system from the start or some piece of gamification software can be added to an existing application. 

If the context is non-digital, a software system can be used to support the addition of the game elements and to monitor users’ activities. The software system may rely on specific devices or other applications to get the data from the non-digital context or it may need the intervention of a human user.

The users of gamified systems, those whose behaviours are to be changed, are called players. Players may have an active or a passive role in their relation to the system. If the context is non-digital, mediators are needed, either human users or some specific device. The system might have other kind of non-player users that act as mediators between the system and the non-game context. Players themselves can also act as mediators having an active role within the gamified system.

In digital non-game contexts, gamification platforms like PunchTab, Uplaude or CaptainUp provide tools to power websites, blogs and web applications. These tools can be simple add-ons or plug-ins to monitor and reward the players’ activities. In this approach, users take a passive role since they cannot control what is monitored and just let the system watch their actions.

Systems like Nike+, a well-known example of gamification, are non-game, non-digital contexts where a device (a smartphone or other specific device from Nike) act as a mediator, monitoring players' (runners) activities. Another similar example is Zamzee, targeting a younger audience.

ClassDojo is an example of a gamified system, where the non-game context is non-digital (a classroom) and a special user (the teacher) monitors the players' (students) activities. ChoreWars is a another example where the special user can also be a player.

Lift is a gamified system where players through the web or using an app, can set personal goals to improve their habits (like doing more exercise or drinking more water, the top popular habits). Each player's achievements can be shared with other players. Lift is an example where the players themselves act as mediators, monitoring and registering their own activities. Foodzy is another system where the players act as mediators.

(this post is based in a paper recently presented at the PLE Conference 2013 in Berlin - Simões, Redondo, Díaz, Vilas & Aguiar (2013); see also this other post).


Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011). From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining “Gamification, Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference Envisioning Future Media Environments.

Simões, Jorge; Redondo, Rebeca Díaz; Vilas, Ana Fernández; Ademar Aguiar (2013). Using Gamification to Improve Participation in a Social Learning Environment. In: THE PLE CONFERENCE 2013, 2013. Berlim. The PLE Conference 2013 Proceedings (to be published)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Call for Papers: “Rethinking Gamification”

Could be interesting ...

a handbook edited by 
Mathias Fuchs, Niklas Schrape, Sonia Fizek and Paolo Ruffino.

The Gamification Lab at the Centre for Digital Cultures in Lüneburg, Germany,  invites scholars, artists, designers and thinkers to critically question gamification and propose alternatives to the dominant models that have been framing this concept. The project will expand the outcome of the Rethinking Gamification workshop held in May 2013 at the Gamification Lab in Lüneburg, which involved a group of 15 international scholars and artists.
We expect proposals to critically analyse gamification. If interested, please send extended abstracts (1.000 words) for full length papers (8.000 words), to be completed (if accepted) by mid-December 2013. The final papers will be published in Spring 2014.

It is also worth to see the videos on Gamification Lab website and the related papers. They are contributions for the workshop Rethinking Gamification that took place on May 2013.

One of the papers is from Scott Nicholson: Exploring the Endgame of Gamification. He has beem working on meaningful gamification (see this other post) and he has his own RECIPE:
  • Reflection – creating situations where users reflect to discover personal connections with the real-world setting;
  • Exposition – using narrative and user-created stories to create deeper connections to the real-world setting;
  • Choice – allowing the user to select paths and develop goals within the real-worldsetting that are more meaningful to him or her;
  • Information – providing the user with information about the connections between the gamification activities and the real-world setting;
  • Play – creating a safe space and set of boundaries where the user can choose how he or she wishes to engage with different gamification activities in the real-world setting;
  • Engagement – using the gamification system to connect users to a community of practice that surrounds the real-world setting.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gartner Hype Cycle: Gamification and Big Data in 2012 and 2013

Gamification and Big Data walk along together (see this other post about the Horizon Report 2013 - Higher Education Edition and also Four Approaches to Collecting Data in Gamified Systems). It is also worth to look at what Gartner predicts about the future of these two technologies. In the 2013 edition of Gartner's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies (which I got from here, a link shared by Andrzej Marczewski) and in the 2012 edition we can see how the two technologies are evolving. They are now both at the top of the "peak of inflated expectations" (Gamification is a little ahead). They have an horizon of 5 to 10 years to reach the "plateau of productivity" (in 2012, Big Data was in the 2 to 5 years horizon).

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2012

 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2013

And to end, a funny video about how gamification is already part of our lives ...


The video is from Designing Digitally, a company providing solutions for E-Learning programs, 3D training simulations and virtual worlds development.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Next Gamification Events

A list of the next gamification events shared among GamFed members:
  • Gamifiers event in London on September 18th 
  • GSummitX in New York on September 10th

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gamification of Education: Recent Links

Some recent links about gamification of education:

4 Ways To Bring Gamification of Education To Your Classroom (from TopHat): some ways to use gamification in the classroom.

"Games, in any form, increase motivation through engagement. Nowhere else is this more important than education."

" ... gamification in learning is the use of game mechanics to ‘gamify’ content to engage and entice users by encouraging and rewarding use."
"What does the successful application of gamification in e-learning look like?
1. Gamification isn’t about games, but the learners.
2. It isn’t about knowledge but behaviour.
3. It extracts the motivational techniques out of games and uses them for life-applicable learning.
4. It allows quick feedback of progress and communications of goals that need to be accomplished."

... and a new definition for gamification in learning contexts, from Razvan Rughinis in Gamification for Productive Interaction, Reading and Working with the Gamification Debate in Education (see this other post) presented at CISTI 2013 (proceedings available):

"Gamification in learning contexts represents simple gameplay to support productive interaction for expected types of learners and instructors."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Slides da Apresentação no Challenges 2013

Slides da apresentação do artigo Proposta de Modelo de Referência para Aplicação de Gamification em Ambientes de Aprendizagem Social, Challenges 2013, 16 de julho de 2013, Braga, Portugal.

Resumo: A gamification consiste na aplicação de elementos característicos dos videojogos em contextos não lúdicos com o objetivo de aumentar os níveis de envolvimento e de motivação dos participantes em atividades nesses contextos. Para atingir este objetivo tem sido considerada, entre outras, a teoria do fluxo. A educação é apontada como uma das áreas com maior potencial de aplicação de gamification. O crescente uso das tecnologias de informação e de comunicação em contextos educativos e o reconhecimento do potencial pedagógico das aplicações da Web 2.0 levam a que as plataformas de apoio ao ensino sejam candidatas à aplicação elementos de jogos, em particular de jogos sociais. Os elementos a considerar e a forma de os aplicar levaram à necessidade de definição de um modelo de referência que auxilie a aplicação do conceito de gamification. Este artigo apresenta uma proposta de um modelo de referência no seguimento de trabalhos anteriores que identificaram já as suas características gerais.

Palavras-chave: Gamification, elementos de jogos, teoria do fluxo, ambientes sociais de aprendizagem, modelo de referência

Abstract: Gamification is the application of typical elements from video games in non-gaming contexts aiming to increase the levels of engagement and motivation of the participants in activities in those contexts. The ways to achieve this objective have been supported by the flow theory, among others. Education is considered one of the areas with greatest potential for the application of gamification. The increasing use of information and communication technologies in educational contexts and the recognition of the pedagogical potential of Web 2.0 applications, made learning supporting platforms good candidates for the application of game elements, particularly from social games. Choosing which elements to consider and how to apply them led to the necessity of defining a framewok to assist the application of gamification. This paper presents a proposal of such a framework following previous work that has identified its general characteristics.

Keywords: Gamification, game elements, flow theory, social learning environments, framework

Friday, July 12, 2013

Paper in PLE 2013

Foi apresentado ontem, pelo Ademar Aguiar, o artigo que enviámos para a PLE 2013 - Personal Learning Environments: Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future,  em Berlim. 

O artigo, Using Gamification to Improve Participation in a Social Learning Environment, foi feito em co-autoria com Rebeca Redondo e Ana Vilas da Universidade de Vigo, para além do Ademar Aguiar. A redação do artigo contou ainda com o apoio de de um shepherd, Kamakshi Rajagopal.

Abstract do artigo: This paper presents a gamification framework applied in the integration of game elements in a K6 Social Learning Environment leading to a gamified system. With this gamified system it is expected to achieve a raise in the motivation to use the platform with students becaming more loyal users. It is also expected that they will be deeper involved and engaged in educational activities supported by the environment. The proposed gamification framework includes an architecture for a gamified system and a guide to help the development of gamified activities.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Book of Mormon: Case Study White Paper

Foi publicado o white paper do último case study proposto pelo GamFed: um site gamificado para promoção e venda de bilhetes para um espectáculo da Broadway: The Book of Mormon (ver este post).

The Book of Mormon Case Study
The Book of Mormon is a satirical musical developed and directed by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone and Casey Nicholaw. The production has won 9 Tony awards including Best Musical in 2011.

Supercharging Online Engagement

With the musical’s Broadway success rapidly gaining momentum, The Book of Mormon team aimed to increase online engagement and social sharing of tour dates, exclusive interviews and other important content available on the musical’s website. Being savvy about current trends in digital marketing, The Book of Mormon wanted to use social media to build online buzz for the production and boost interaction on the site.

Building a Rewards Program for Fans
Knowing that many people visit a production’s website to buy tickets, The Book of Mormon implemented BigDoor’s Gamified Loyalty Platform to launch site “missions” that prompt and incentivize visitors to check out videos, behind the scenes photos and The Book of Mormon in the news. Joining the program allows users to earn “golden plates”, a currency customized by the Book of Mormon team, which were redeemable for tickets to the show and Book of Mormon merchandise. As a white label product, the BigDoor platform easily aligned with The Book of Mormon’s satirical themes.

The site also launched BigDoor powered ”Street Team missions”, which load a timed messages for fans to retweet, rewarding higher point values for those who do so the fastest.
Since social media engagement is the ultimate goal, The Book of Mormon uses BigDoor’s social stream feature, which highlights real-time fan achievements earned in the program. Visitors to the site can see who is earning achievements, badges and rewards. The social stream prompts them to join and participate in the program.

The Results
Simply watching the social stream on The Book of Mormon’s website proves how active participants are in the program. Valuable site actions have increased by 10X and participants in the program view 2X as many pages. Fans of the program are learning more about the production, building excitement for tour dates and recruiting their friends to help them earn rewards. “Mission” accomplished!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Horizon Report 2013 K12 Edition

As tecnologias em destaque são as seguintes:

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile Learning
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Learning Analytics
  • Open Content
Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
  • 3D Printing
  • Virtual and Remote Laboratories
Learning Analytics foi já abordada aqui neste post e é também mencionada na Higher Education Edition. 3D Printing aparece também em ambos os relatórios.

Friday, June 07, 2013

CISTI'2013: Final Program

CISTI'2013 (8th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies), to be held between the 19th and 22th of June 2013, in Lisbon, Portugal. The final programa is available.

The program includes a workshop on Serious Games: SGaMePlay 2013 - Third Iberian Workshop on Serious Games and Meaningful Play. Under the theme Information Technologies in Education, there are some potential interesting papers on gamification, game-based learning and motivation:

- Immersive Learning: Metaversos e Games na Educação, Eliane Schlemmer, 
Brazil and Fernando Marson, 

O artigo, a partir de uma reflexão sobre a Cultura Digital e novo sujeito da aprendizagem, apresenta e discute o uso de Metaversos e Jogos Digitais na Educação, envolvendo conceitos como: estado de flow, experimentação e significação para problematizar a questão da aprendizagem. Nesse contexto, propõe o Immersive Learning – i-Learning, por meio do desenvolvimento de Experiências de Realidade Virtual e Experiências de Virtualidade Real, como uma das possibilidades educacionais que pode ser propiciada para os novos sujeitos da aprendizagem, que fazem parte da Cultura Digital.

- What’s in it for me? Enlightening motivation within a social network decision-making, Francisco Antunes, 
INESC Coimbra - Universidade da Beira Interior
 Portugal and João Paulo Costa, 
INESC Coimbra - Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
, Portugal

 This paper addresses the motivations by which people engage in social networking, according to the existing literature. Understanding these motivations allows firms to set processes to explore them, in order to establish and develop a decision support social network, supported by social network sites. Participating in social networks draws upon the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. On one hand, intrinsic factors refer to motivation embedded in the action itself (comes within the individual), rather than from external rewards such as money or recognition. On the other hand, extrinsic factors refer to the motivation coming outside the individual. Considering that solutions to problems are expected within a decision support social network, some potential problems are identified and addressed.

- Gamification for Productive Interaction. Reading and Working with the Gamification Debate in Education, Razvan Rughinis
 University Politehnica of Bucharest 

 We examine the gamification debate of recent years and we propose an alternative, heuristic definition for gamification in learning situations. After considering several critiques of the gamification concept, we privilege in our definition 'interaction' over 'motivation', 'simple gameplay' over 'game mechanics', and we highlight the diverse and changing behaviors of user/players. We re-define gamification in learning contexts as 'simple gameplay to support productive interaction for expected types of learners and instructors'. We argue that this definition offers a lowest common denominator to inform gamification in education.

The abstract of the first one has a reference to the state of flow (is it the flow theory of Csikszentmihalyi?).  

The second papers deals with motivation in social networks. Does the approach involves any gamification features?

The third abstract includes a new definition for gamification in learning contexts: simple gameplay to support productive interaction for expected types of learners and instructors. It will be interesting to read the full paper.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

III Colóquio Luso-Brasileiro de Educação a Distância e Elearning

Colóquio a realizar em Lisboa, Portugal, em 6 e 7 de dezembro - III Colóquio Luso-Brasileiro de Educação a Distância e Elearning.

O III Colóquio Luso-Brasileiro de Educação a Distância e Elearning tem como objetivo central promover a aproximação e colaboração entre o Brasil e Portugal, designadamente entre as suas universidades e centros de investigação, sob a égide de um interesse comum, a Educação a Distância.
Pretende-se promover a reflexão e o intercâmbio de práticas e experiências sobre Educação a Distância, Elearning e Educação Online; partilhar conhecimento e desenvolvimento tecnológico e promover parcerias de investigação e de colaboração docente entre universidades portuguesas e brasileiras.

Destacam-se as linhas temáticas consideradas para a apresentação de trabalhos:

1.     EaD e Políticas educativas
2.     Boas Práticas em Educação Online
3.     Modelos e Processos Pedagógicos em Educação online
4.     Web 2.0 e tecnologias emergentes
5.     Pedagogias emergentes (PLEs, MOOCs, REAs, …)
6.     Realidade Virtual em EaD
7.     Jogos e gamification em EaD
8.     Mobile Learning
9.     EaD e Inclusão Digital
10.  Avaliação em contextos online

É de realçar que uma das linhas temáticas é "Jogos e gamification em EaD" o que demonstra o destaque que este tema tem vindo a merecer na área da educação em geral e na área da EaD em particular. Outras linhas temáticas são a Realidade Virtual e o Mobile Learning, ambas também já abordadas neste blogue (ver, por exemplo, o post Mobile Learning e o post Mundos Virtuais, Realidade Aumentada e Virtualidade Aumentada).

Datas Importantes para o Colóquio:
  • Submissão das propostas: 30 de junho
  • Informação sobre a aprovação das propostas: 31 de agosto
  • Envio de textos finais para publicação: 26 de setembro
  • Registo e confirmação da presença dos autores: 30 de setembro

Monday, June 03, 2013

Colloquium on Critical Perspectives on Gamification Within a Context of Business Studies

Anúncio de um colóquio sobre perspetivas críticas na aplicação de gamification no contexto de estudos empresariais (a tradução pode ser discutível).

Este anúncio chegou por mail através de Sebastian Deterding da Gamification Research Network. Não são conhecidos mais pormenores sobre o evento nem parece existir ainda um website de suporte.
Para além do anúncio, vale a pena ler o resumo que é feito sobre a origem e evolução do conceito de gamification como pontos de partida para as perspetivas críticas pretendidas quando ao seu futuro. Os organizadores do colóquio aparentam integrar a corrente dos investigadores sobre o tema da gamification que são oriundos da área do marketing.

Eis o anúncio, tal como chegou:

The theme for this colloquium is critical perspectives on gamification within a context of business studies. It is arranged by Peter Zackariasson, Mikolaj Dymek and Johan Hagberg, and is hosted by University of Gothenburg, School of Business, Economics and Law at the 22nd of November, 2013.

Purportedly coined already as early as 2002 by game developer Nick Pelling, the notion of “gamification” has only gained attention during the last couple of years. Without a paradigmatic definition, a common and tentative viewpoint is that gamification involves the use of game mechanics in “non-game” contexts. Although lacking in stringency this perspective has spawned a global gamification frenzy. A Google Trends query indicates a dramatic surge in popularity at the end of 2010, and interest continues its growth to this date. In 2011 it was termed the hottest digital trend at the immensely influential SXSW festival. Exceptionally popular presentations at the prominent TED Conferences by gamificiation gurus such as Gabe Zichermann, Jane McGonigal, Tom Chatfield and others, have inspired a plethora of software applications, services, campaigns, products and communication strategies that all claim to be part of the gamification movement. These gamification applications have been implemented in an impressing range of fields ranging from weight loss, education, journalism, loyalty programmes through marketing campaigns, exercising, language learning to social networks and corporate intranets. More specifically within a business context efforts have been made within marketing, project management, education, internal communication, health care and human resource management.

The gamification trend has primarily been picked up by the IT industry – often entrepreneurial Internet startups predominantly outside the sphere of the traditional video game industry. A trailblazer in this context has been the immensely successful case of Foursquare – a location-based social network for smartphone users. Using game mechanics Foursquare has during less than four years motivated over 30 million users to “check in” in millions of places around the world. This gamification implementation has generated one of the world’s most comprehensive, and most updated, local commerce directory. Unlike other local services (Yelp, Google Local, Qype, etc.) ratings and recommendations are not based on anonymous voting scores (which can easily be manipulated), but on real check ins, i.e. consumer movements verified by GPS functionality and Foursquare app. However, lately Foursquare has been heavily criticised in media for not generating revenues, floundering popularity and that its business model does not offer easy “monetisation” as advertisements and paid listings would corrupt the neutrality of Foursquare’s recommendations.

As the Foursquare service is being developed into a less gamified interface, critical voices are being raised that this vindicates the end of the entire gamification trend. A trend that was more about hyperbole, gamification gurus and catchy slogans, than it was about expanding the realm of the game medium. Critics have accused gamification implementations to be superficial and excessively uniform based on points, badges and leaderboards, so-called “badgification”. Not only is the gamification concept being questioned by (IT) industry professionals, but game developers and game theorists are heavily criticising the notion as well. Large parts of the (hardcore) gamer community have never really embraced the gamification trend since it indirectly posits game development outside of their domain (“non-game” contexts).

Foursquare, the poster child of the gamification trend, is at a crossroads. We will use this turning point as a stepping stone for focusing a well-deserved critical perspective on the gamification trend, and particularly applications within a business studies context. Multiple issues are being raised about both practical and theoretical value of gamification in studies of consumers, markets, organizations, or other areas in business studies. 

We invite theoretical as well as practical papers, within a business context, on the following topics:
Can gamification be stringently defined, separated analytically from “conventional” approaches in business studies?
  • What are the theoretical perspectives, from games studies/new media/digital literature studies, on the gamification trend - and how does this influence business studies?
  • How do we critically analyse the claims of the gamification acolytes and their numerous easy-digestible “airport” business publications ?

  • Critical and empirical analysis of successful, or unsuccessful, cases of gamification in business settings such as marketing, project management, education, internal communication, health care and human resource management

  • Empirical accounts of gamification production

  • How can the business use of gamification be evaluated?
  • Can gamification be analysed using established frameworks within economics such as game theory, behavioural economics, management control systems and others that analyse economic behaviour using notions of rules, rewards and evaluations?

  • How does gamification relate to management/organisation theory?

  • What are the (business) ethical consequences of gamifying employee or customer activity?
In other words: what is the future of gamification in a business setting?
Submit an extended abstract (1000 words), plus a short bio to Peter Zackariasson ( Deadline for the abstract is August 31.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Webinar: Using Educational Games & Gamification

Motivation, clear objectives, critical thinking about consequences, and instant and abundant feedback are all elements of the best learning experiences. These are also elements of the best games. There is momentum behind games in education, including a large number of teachers who are using games like Minecraft and Civilizaton or gamifying their classroom to teach core concepts and develop 21st century skills.

Visit to access the recording of the May 20 webinar.

Some important issues to mention:
  • games: games are fun and include story, character, goal, obstacules, feedback, levels.
  • game mechanics vs learning principles.
  • multiple intelligences.
  • flow theory.
  • video with interventions from James Gee and Clark Aldrich, among others.
  • types of games: simple games, simulated environments and adventure worlds (benefits, limitations of each).
  • gamification as the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.

An interesting quote:

The worst thing kids can say about a homework is that it's too hard. The worst thing they can say about a game is that it's too easy (Dr. Henry Jenkins).

In short, the presentation is interesting but adds nothing really new.

PLE Conference 2013: Draft Program

Já está disponível o programa preliminar para The PLE Conference 2013 - Personal Learning Environments: Learning and Diversity in the Cities of the Future (10 – 12 July 2013, Berlin, Germany &  Melbourne, Australia).

Uma das sessões tem como tema "PLE e Gamification" com uma contribuição (paper #58) em co-autoria com Ana Vilas e Rebeca Redondo, da Universidade de Vigo  e Ademar Aguiar da Universidade do Porto.

Friday, May 24, 2013

GALA 2013: Call for Papers

The Games and Learning Alliance Conference (GALA 2013) is an international conference dedicated to the science and application of serious games.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers, developers, practitioners and stakeholders. The goal is to share the state of the art of research and market, analysing the most significant trends and discussing visions on the future of serious games.

The conference also includes an exhibition, where developers can showcase their latest products.

The Serious Games Society is building a scientific community at international level for shaping future research in the field. This community represents a significant blend of industrial and academic professionals committed to the study, development and deployment of serious games as really useful and effective tools to support better teaching, learning, training and assessment.

Important dates:
  • Papers (10 pages) submission: June 19 2013

  • Call for Workshops (4 pages) submission: May 31 2013
Call for Tutorials (4 pages) submission: June 19 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Challenges 2013: Accepted Paper

Paper accepted (with revision) for Challenges 2013 Conference: "Proposta de Modelo de Referência para Aplicação de Gamification em Ambientes de Aprendizagem Social".

Abstract: Gamification is the application of  typical elements from video games in non-gaming contexts aiming to increase the levels of engagement and motivation of the participants in activities in those contexts. The ways to achieve this objective have been supported by the flow theory, among others. Education is considered one of the areas with greatest potential for the application of gamification. The increasing use of information and communication technologies in educational contexts and the recognition of the pedagogical potential of Web 2.0 applications, made learning supporting platforms good candidates for the application of game elements, particularly from social games. Choosing which elements to consider and how to apply them led to the necessity of defining a framewok to assist the application of gamification. This paper presents a proposal of such a framework following previous work that has identified its general characteristics.
Keywords: Gamification, game elements, flow theory, social learning environments, framework

Autores: Jorge Simões, Rebeca Redondo, Ana Vilas, Ademar Aguiar.