Online Study Space: Using Gamification and Virtual Worlds to improve online studying

Due to the Covid pandemic, students experienced heightened levels of stress and dissatisfaction (Digital Society School, 2020b). High attrition and learner dissatisfaction rates within Europe are increasing (Montaldo, Benke-Abertg & Garcia, 2018) and students are finding it difficult to establish real connections. In addition, the nature of education is changing into a more hybrid experience. Classes are (partly) taught online, and students are not attending classes in physical presence for just one lesson.

To support students in studying from home and feeling connected with their educational institute, the online library team at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) and Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) introduced Online Study Spaces (OSS), an online group in Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) where students can study together.

The Online Library team has noticed that MS Teams is limited in offering an engaging experience, especially in its visual attractiveness. Their need is to design a platform that appeals to the imagination where students can more easily navigate and are motivated to create connections with each other.

Design Challenge

The design challenge is to enhance the online study space of the UvA & HvA to improve (1) the onboarding, (2) learning, and (3) engagement & belonging experience of students in the platform. We will do so by trying out two experiments within MS Teams with the theme’s Gamification & Virtual Worlds.

Partners & Funding Partners
Our key partners for this project are the Online Library teams of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) and Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). With the support of the SIDN fund, we are also working towards a stronger internet for all by using Tech for Good.
Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations SDG’s are the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face”. Project OSS focuses on four of these goals:

This project kicked off in February ’22 and is to be completed by the end of June ’22.

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