Recent research shows that gamification is a valuable tool to improve students’ learning effectiveness. However, its application continues to be limited. Educators remain reluctant to use games due to factors like limited resources, game complexity, inadaptability to various learning-outcomes, weak student involvement, and difficulty to integrate in course structures. In this article we argue that, when purposefully designed, educational games can address those factors that hinder adoption. Accordingly, we identified six design principles that, if satisfied, are expected to yield educational games that are useful to both educators and students. The principles accentuate the importance of designing educational platforms over which games can be created and played. Game platforms must (1) adapt to various educational purposes, (2) enable educators control over student engagement (switching on/off game features like rewards, personifications, etc.), (3) scale up/down to achieve the desired level of complexity, and (4) maintain student arousal by dynamically balancing the challenge level with skill level. To evaluate the design principles, we intend to design a business game platform with educators that reflect the six proposed principles and evaluate it in class settings. If fruitful, this research will advance extant knowledge on learning strategies and specifically the design of educational games.
El-Masri, Mazen and Tarhini, Ali, "A Design Science Approach To Gamify Education: From Games To Platforms" (2015). ECIS 2015 Research-in-Progress Papers. Paper 48.