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Denden, M.; Tlili, A.; Abed, M.; Bozkurt, A.; Huang, R.; Burgos, D. Gamification and Technology Acceptance. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 16 April 2024).
Denden M, Tlili A, Abed M, Bozkurt A, Huang R, Burgos D. Gamification and Technology Acceptance. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 16, 2024.
Denden, Mouna, Ahmed Tlili, Mourad Abed, Aras Bozkurt, Ronghuai Huang, Daniel Burgos. "Gamification and Technology Acceptance" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 16, 2024).
Denden, M., Tlili, A., Abed, M., Bozkurt, A., Huang, R., & Burgos, D. (2023, March 04). Gamification and Technology Acceptance. In Encyclopedia.
Denden, Mouna, et al. "Gamification and Technology Acceptance." Encyclopedia. Web. 04 March, 2023.
Gamification and Technology Acceptance

Technology acceptance is essential for technology success. Individual users are known to differ in their tendency to adopt and interact with new technologies. Among the individual differences, personality has been shown to be a predictor of users’ beliefs about technology acceptance. Gamification, on the other hand, has been shown to be a good solution to improve students’ motivation and engagement while learning. Despite the growing interest in gamification, less research attention has been paid to the effect of personality, specifically based on the Five Factor model (FFM), on gamification acceptance in learning environments.

educational technology technology acceptance gamification

1. Introduction

Gamification is the use of game design elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, in a non-gaming context to improve user engagement and motivation [1]. The idea behind the use of gamification in educational environments is to improve students’ motivation and learning experience in a learning environment by employing gamification elements [2]. Students’ motivation is considered to be one of the most important factors leading to their academic success [3] and, therefore, several studies have focused on enhancing students’ motivation while learning through the application of gamification [4][5]. In particular, several studies showed the effectiveness of gamification in enhancing students’ intrinsic motivation and engagement in higher education [6], as well as its feasibility in higher education teaching and learning processes, as many options and platforms are available to be utilized [7].
Despite the revealed positive impact of gamification on education, some studies reported negative effects regarding its implementation [8][9][10]. For instance, the use of competitive game elements, such as badges and leaderboards, can have a negative impact on low performing students [8]. Additionally, Mert and Samur [11] found that if the gamification system is not well implemented and correctly used, it can negatively affect student behaviors and participation. The aforementioned studies confirm Kapp [12] and Werbach and Hunter [13], who stressed that gamification might not work in every system or create the same effect, as learning experiences are affected by a wide range of factors.
Initial acceptance and use of a gamified learning environment are essential for its success in motivating and engaging students in higher education [14]. Therefore, several previous studies in the related literature focused on the acceptance of gamified learning environments [7][14][15]. For instance, Rahman et al. [14] proposed a gamification acceptance model based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to test students’ acceptance of gamification and its effects on their engagement rate during the lessons. Results showed that students’ acceptance of gamification affects their engagement while learning. Specifically, to test students’ acceptance of gamified learning environments, various studies used TAM and extensions of TAM, such as TAM 2 [16] and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) [17]. TAM, proposed by Davis [18], is a theoretical framework that explains user acceptance of technology in a wide range of fields. According to earlier meta-studies, TAM is also used in a large number of empirical studies to explore users’ participation intention [19][20].
On the other hand, students have different personalities and because of that they may behave differently, which means that they may have different technology acceptance behavior [21][22]. In this context, Svendsen et al. [22] highlighted the relationship between personality and technology acceptance. Therefore, it is not surprising that several recent studies investigated the effect of personality traits on technology adoption, such as smart-phones [21], social networking sites [23], business intelligence tools [24], e-Learning [25], and digital library systems [26]. However, according to the recent literature review of Panagiotarou et al. [15], and to the best of the knowledge, no study has investigated the effect of personality on students’ adoption of gamified learning environments.

2. Gamification and Technology Acceptance

Gamification can be defined as a set of activities and processes used to solve problems by utilizing or applying game design elements [27]. Several studies have highlighted the potential of gamification in increasing students’ motivation and engagement as well as boosting their performance [6][28]. For instance, Kaufmann [29] showed that gamification can help students overcome complex academic challenges, such as those involved in the dissertation process and other elements of higher learning. Ahmad et al. [30] showed, in an experimental study for computer science majors, that gamification is an effective tool to teach tough courses in higher education. Çakıroğluet al. [31] showed that points, leaderboard, quests, and reputation increased students’ engagement and participation in an undergraduate course. However, despite the great benefits of gamification [32], it can also have negative outcomes. For instance, gamification can cause loss of performance, where it harms or hinders students’ learning process [9]. It can also cause undesired behavior due to the use of some game design elements [9].
The mixed (positive and negative) findings on gamification are linked to the perception of technology that can vary based on the target groups’ backgrounds and earlier experiences. For instance, Collan [33] stated that the acceptance of a new technology by students goes through stages like identifying needs or minimally selecting a solution to fulfill a need from a set of possible alternatives. Thus, students seek new technologies that they can use for different purposes. Behl et al. [34] referred the acceptance of the gamification concept to the acceptance of the whole environment (e-learning environment), since there is a link between the concept of gamification and technology, as it plays a vital role in facilitating gamification features. In particular, the use of gamified learning environments is still a sensitive subject for many educational systems [35][36]. In the Hungarian education system, for example, when analyzing students’ behaviors while interacting with a gamified learning environment using TAM, it was found that students have different intentions toward using this environment [35]. Additionally, it was found that students’ positive attitudes toward using gamified learning environments contributed to the improvement of their performance. Feriande [36] also found that students’ acceptance of the gamified environment affects their interactions with course materials.
Several recent studies have further highlighted the influence of external factors, such as students’ characteristics, on technology acceptance [15][37]. Therefore, different studies in the literature have focused on the factors affecting students’ acceptance of gamified learning environments. For instance, Panagiotarou et al. [15] found that digital skill levels can affect students’ acceptance of gamified learning environments. Oluwajana et al. [38] found that curiosity can affect students’ acceptance of gamified learning environments. Moreover, Vanduhe et al. [39] found that social influence and social recognition can affect students’ perception of ease of use and usefulness in a gamified learning environment. The next subsequent section discusses personality, which is considered to be an important student characteristic that can affect technology acceptance [37].

3. Personality

Saucier and Srivastava [40] defined personality as “all of the attributes, qualities and characteristics that distinguish the behavior, thoughts, and feelings of individuals”. Several personality models exist in the literature; however, FFM is the predominant dimensional model of general personality structure [41]. It is based on five dimensions that describe people’s diversity [42], namely (1): Extraversion reflects an individual’s degree of assertiveness, sociability, and positive emotions; (2) Agreeableness reflects an individual’s degree of kindness, maintenance of social harmony, cooperation, and trust; (3) Conscientiousness reflects an individual’s degree of organization, self-discipline, and tendency to be responsible; (4) Neuroticism reflects an individual’s degree of stress, dissatisfaction, and sadness; and (5) Openness reflects an individual’s degree of imagination, creativity, and appreciation of esthetic experiences.
The related studies suggest that personality is the reason people accept or reject a given technology [26], as well as educational tools like educational games [43]. Tlili et al. [44] further highlighted the effect of personality on students’ perception of intrinsic motivation in a gamified learning environment. In addition, recent studies showed that students’ personalities can affect their perception of using different game design elements in a gamified learning environment [45][46]. Bayne [47] stated that students’ personalities can differently affect their involvement in the learning progress regardless of their personal interests or the degree of cognitive development. With respect to TAM, several studies in the literature have highlighted the relationship between personality and TAM [21][22][23][37]. Specifically, they consider that any difference in perceived ease of use and usefulness may be caused by personality differences.


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