Visualisation and Gamification of e‑Learning and Programming Education


  • Marie Olsson
  • Peter Mozelius
  • Jonas Collin


Keywords: Visualisation, Gamification, Programming education, Virtual learning environments, E-learning


Abstract: Courses in virtual learning environments can leave recently enrolled participants in a state of loneliness, confusion and boredom. . What course content is essential in the course, where can more information be found and which assignments are mandatory? Research has stated that learner control and motivation are crucial issues for successful online education. This paper presents and discusses visualisation as a channel to improve learners control and understanding of programming concepts and gamification as a way to increase study motivation in virtual learning environments. Data has been collected by evaluation questionnaires and group discussions in two courses partly given in the Moodle virtual learning environment. One course is on Game based learning for Bachelors programmes, the other is a course on e‑learning for university teachers. Both the courses have used progress bars to visualise students study paths and digital badges for gamification. Results have also been discussed with teachers and pedagogues at a department for computer and systems sciences. Furthermore, two visualisation prototypes have been designed, developed and evaluated in programming lectures. Findings indicate that visualisation by progress bars is a good way to improve course participants overview in online environments with rich and multifaceted content. To what degree the visualisation facilitates the course completion is hard to estimate, and like students have different learning styles, they also seem to have different visualisation needs. Gamification by digital badges seems to have various motivational impacts in different study groups and in traditional university programmes the traditional grades seem to be the main carrots. Finally, it seems that software visualisation might be a promising path to enhance programming education in the 21st century.



1 Dec 2015