Gamification and self-directed learning

Ernesto Pacheco, Jaime Palma, David Salinas, Ivan Arana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Gamification is a learning technique that transfers game mechanics to the educational environment in order to achieve better learning results, change participants' attitudes towards the learning process, develop knowledge and student skills. One of the advantages of using gamification is that motivates students to investigate and design strategies in order to achieve a better performance in the game. There are many studies that highlight the different benefits of using gamification in the classroom, among some of these benefits gamification improves student participation, motivation and commitment, encourages more collaboration between students, increases content understanding, among others. On the other hand, it is necessary to understand that the paradigm of employers has changed. Companies today need more flexible people, with different skills, with the ability to "learn to learn". This skill is essential to cope with the complexity of interactions that people frequently face. This is why many companies prefer to have employees who manage their time and achieve results independently (without the direction of supervisors, trainers, or educators). Day by day it is more important that people develop the ability to acquire new skills, new knowledge and self-management. For the past two years, with other colleagues in the logistics area at our university, we have worked on designing a course based on an online game called Logistic Simulator (or LOST, for short). The intention of the game is that students can acquire knowledge in an easy and fun way. To improve their performance in the game, they must investigate and learn different topics of the course on their own, and even investigate content that is not found within the syllabus. This study aims to point out how gamification influences the student's perception of self-directed learning. The study shows that students significantly change their perception of some of the areas related to their participation and the degree of responsibility they have for their own learning, in particular, students improve their abilities in the search for information, autonomy and self-management.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020
EditorsPanagiotis Fotaris
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764716
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2020
Event14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 24 Sept 202025 Sept 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference14th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2020
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Novus Grant with PEP no. PHHT032-19ZZ00010, TecLabs, Tecnologico de Monterrey, in the production of this work.


  • Educational Innovation
  • Game based learning
  • Gamification
  • Higher Education
  • Self-Directed Learning
  • Serious Games


Dive into the research topics of 'Gamification and self-directed learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this