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Gamification, recently considered as a science, takes advantage of the benefits of games to induce desirable behaviors in a given “normal” activity. When applied in education, it is an approach to motivate and engage students in their learning process by incorporating game design principles. This paper presents the design and deployment of a game conducted in parallel with two groups of the engineering course “operations research”. The game design is theoretically supported, and unlike literature, the game proposed has the main distinguishing features: (a) it is carried out in parallel with the standard course, where player participation is optional, with extrinsic motivators regarding the final grade, (b) it lasts the entire semester, and it was applied to different groups with the same instructor, (c) in addition to academic performance, it has other social relatedness desired outcomes, (d) it combines the use of specific game elements divided in three types of activities: Mastery, related to the core topics of the class, Institutional, related to the university life and community, and Teamwork activities; and (e) it uses a WhatsApp chat group as the common communication platform. The assessment is twofold: the effects on learning, measured in two indicators, failure rate and average grade; and the perception of the game itself. Statistical results present empirical evidence of the positive effects of gamification on academic performance and other desired behaviors of social relatedness, such as a sense of belonging and teamwork.
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