Revealing the hotspots of educational gamification: An umbrella review

Ahmed Hosny Saleh Metwally, Lennart E. Nacke, Maiga Chang, Yining Wang, Ahmed Mohamed Fahmy Yousef

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


With gamification flourishing in popularity in educational research, it is essential to synthesize the expanding literature on educational gamification. The current umbrella review aims to comprehensively canvas the disparate findings and conflicting conclusions by critically examining educational gamification reviews. We included 46 reviews of state-of-the-art gamification published between 2016 and 2020. The critical analysis of these studies resulted in extracting six fundamental gamification research areas in education, namely: (1) concept and theoretical knowledge, (2) design, (3) development, (4) impact, (5) personalization, and (6) higher education. It also revealed that systematic reviews were the predominant analysis type. Our umbrella review illustrates the ongoing need in educational research for carefully structured examinations and rigorous methods that validate gamification's instructional advantages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101832
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2021


  • Design frameworks
  • Gamification
  • Higher education
  • Impact
  • Meta-reviews
  • Personalization
  • Umbrella review


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