Nađa Žarić


Learning styles based personalization of gamification in (programming) learning environments

We all advance and learn throughout our lives. First, we learn about ourselves and the world around us through playing games. As we grow up, learning leaves the form of entertainment, and it gradually takes on the outlines of formal education. Formal education, with its strict, pre-defined rules and goals, leaves no room for individual creativity and play. In a standardized environment, such as formal education, we often find ourselves demotivated and limited, which can lead us to poor learning outcomes or even to giving up on learning. This issue is more often seen in e-learning systems, which, by its nature, require additional educational measures to compensate physical distance, as well as the diversity of individuals who participate in the process of e-learning. For the purpose of increasing the motivation and engagement of students and, therefore, improving learning outcomes, researchers are considering the inclusion of games and game elements in the learning process. This incorporation of game elements into non-game context is called Gamification.

My research aims to create a model of gamified personalized e-learning environment, based on learning styles. Learning style is the preferential way in which the learner processes, perceives, memorizes and absorbs information. Since we all differ in a way we learn i.e. we all have different learning styles, this thesis aims to incorporate game elements in e-learning environment in a way that correspondent to various learning styles’ needs. By incorporating game elements in personalized e-learning we can provide stimulating environment with useful learning content and activities. Further, by providing various ways of learning with sufficient learning materials and well-designed content, learners can choose based on their preferences and learning style. This kind of approach to education, where the emphasis is on finding innovative ways to overcome the learning obstacles, can get us closer to an educational system that continuously produces quality staff, without the need for lowering the criteria in order to maintain the quantity of enrolled and graduated students.