Gamification of MOOCs Adopting Social Presence and Sense of Community to Increase User’s Engagement: An Experimental Study

Alessandra Antonaci, Roland Klemke, Johan Lataster, Karel Kreijns, Marcus Specht

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


    Over the past few years, massive online open courses (MOOCs) have been increasingly identified as technologies that could transform education, by providing free and high-quality content to anyone with an Internet connection. However, despite these potentials, MOOCs generally fail to keep their participants on board. One of the reasons for this phenomenon can lie in a lack of participants’ engagement. Social presence and sense of community (SoC) theories claim that a user in an online shared environment may feel more engaged if s/he perceives the others as ‘real persons’ and feels part of a community. Therefore, we developed our game elements with the purpose of developing social presence and SoC among MOOC users. The results of our experiment, from one side, show that our gamification design did positively impact users’ development of social presence and SoC, as well as their learning performance. From the other, data did not confirm that higher levels of social presence and SoC corresponded to higher engagement of MOOC users. These results have important implications for the field by enriching it with a more technologically enhanced approach towards implementing gamification, and by augmenting the social potentials of MOOCs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransforming Learning with Meaningful Technologie
    Subtitle of host publication14th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2019, Delft, The Netherlands, September 16–19, 2019, Proceedings
    EditorsMaren Scheffel, Julien Broisin, Viktoria Pammer-Schindler , Andri Ioannou, Jan Schneider
    Place of PublicationCham
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030297367
    ISBN (Print)9783030297350
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2019

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    • MOOCs
    • experimental
    • gamification
    • sense of community
    • social presence


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