Game Features in Inquiry Game-based Learning Strategies: A Systematic Synthesis

Lanlan Gao, Carlo Fabricatore, Ximena Lopez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Educational games have been used to support Inquiry-based learning in the last ten years. Although many studies have shown game-based inquiry activities can help students develop problem solving abilities and understand scientific principles, little attention has been paid to understanding how game features have been used to support the inquiry processes, and how these may be related to impacts on achievement and engagement. This paper presents a review aimed at identifying game features used in games and gamified strategies designed to support IBL, and their impacts on students. Eleven studies were included in the review after conducting a systematic database search. The analysis revealed: a) the use of a wide variety of game elements including scoreboards, storylines, quests, contextualised feedback and non-linear exploration of information to support IBL; b) elements were mainly oriented at supporting three core characteristics of IBL: the hierarchical structure of learning processes, the creation of a meaningful environment framing the problem to solve, and the provision of progressive and contextualised guidance; c) positive impacts both in terms of conceptual learning and information seeking strategies, but there is mixed evidence regarding the impacts on engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning - ECGBL 2019
EditorsLars Elbæk, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764389
ISBN (Print)9781912764389, 1912764385
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019
Event13th European Conference on Games Based Learning - The University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 13


Conference13th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2019
Internet address


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