An ontology for modelling user’ profiles and activities in gamified education

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Paula T. Palomino
Armando M. Toda
Luiz Rodrigues
Wilk Oliveira
Lennart Nacke
Seiji Isotani


Gamification studies in the educational domain usually focus on motivating students to increase their learning performance by enhancing their motivation. Classifications of behavioural profiles are often used for this (referred to as “gamer” or “user types”), which support the personalization of students’ experiences. These classifications consider these profiles from gamers’ or non-gamers’ points of view. However, within education research, it is necessary to broadly inspect these behavioural profiles to create an instructional design based on learners’ intrinsic drivers and motivations. The relationship between these concepts is subjective, complex, and difficult to categorize, demanding research to bridge this gap. Therefore, in this article we present the design and evaluation of an application ontology that seeks to represent relationships between Jung’s archetypes (e.g., the Hero, the Outlaw and others) adapted for educational purposes, creating a new approach for modelling user profiles, a taxonomy of game elements specific for use in educational contexts, and Bloom’s revised taxonomy to classify learning activities types. This ontology enables personalized and instructional designs directly related to the learning activity type for students. We demonstrate that the proposed ontology can help create better gamification designs to support learning, and we envision it to be used both to create unplugged gamification strategies and personalized gamified educational systems.


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Palomino, P. T., Toda, A. M., Rodrigues, L., Oliveira, W., Nacke, L., & Isotani, S. (2023). An ontology for modelling user’ profiles and activities in gamified education. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 18, 018.