Fostering children's acceptance of educational apps: The importance of designing enjoyable learning activities

Chimezie O. Amaefule*, Jasmin Breitwieser, Daniel Biedermann, Lea Nobbe, Hendrik Drachsler, Garvin Brod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Educational applications (apps) offer opportunities for designing learning activities children enjoy and benefit from. We redesigned a typical mobile learning activity to make it more enjoyable and useful for children. Relying on the technology acceptance model, we investigated whether and how implementing this activity in an app can increase children's intention to use. During the 27-day study, children (N = 103, 9–14 years) used the app to memorize one-sentence learning plans each day. Children used three different app-based learning activities throughout the study. In two standard activities, children reread or reassembled the words of the plan. In the redesigned activity, children represented the meaning of the plan with emojis. Children repeatedly reported on their attitude towards each activity. Subsequently, children reported perceived enjoyment and intention to use the app. Results showed children found the emoji activity most enjoyable, and enjoyment of the emoji activity contributed uniquely towards intention to use. Additionally, children's enjoyment of the app mediated their intention to use the app in the future. Overall, the study suggests that children's enjoyment of an app is crucial in predicting their subsequent intention to use, and it provides a concrete example of how emojis can be used to boost enjoyment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1372
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • attitude
  • behavioural intention to use
  • educational technology
  • emoji
  • mobile learning
  • perceived enjoyment
  • technology acceptance


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