This study explores lecturers' perceptions and suggestions on integrating gamified lessons in Malaysian higher institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the norm of traditional classroom teaching by accelerating digital integration amongst educators and necessitating the need to address classroom gamification. To further understand educators' perceptions, we conducted in-depth interviews with 25 lecturers. We thematically analyzed the interviews by following the steps undertaken by Braun and Clarke (2006) to identify the emerging themes. The findings determine that educators found gamification suitable in teaching and learning activities during the set induction, reinforcement and assessment of specific skills. Several misconceptions also evident in this study. We conclude that although educators are familiar with gamification, they have not fully utilized the strength of gamification.


gamification, game-based learning, higher education, perception, qualitative method

Author Bio(s)

Mohd Elmagzoub Eltahir is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Educational Technology, Education Department, College of Humanities and Sciences at Ajman University Dr. Eltahir research interests include, e-Learning, Educational Technology, Blended Learning, and Multimedia in Education, and has presented and published most of his papers at Professional International Conferences and Refereed scientific journals. He teaches Educational Courses in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programs. Please direct correspondence to m.babiker@ajman.ac.ae.

Nagaletchimee Annamalai (corresponding author), received a Ph.D. degree in teaching English as a second language (TESL) from the Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is aware of the current values, preferences, and needs of digital natives and 21st-century learning classrooms. She has published her articles in national and international journals. Please direct correspondence to naga@usm.my.

Arulselvi Uthayakumaran is a language teacher at Universiti Malaysia Pahang. She is passionate about interdisciplinary fields that integrate language learning skills, especially writing, with 21st-century learning theories from different fields of study. Please direct correspondence to aruselvi@ump.edu.my.

Samer H Zyoud (corresponding author), received his M.Sc. degree in Physics from University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer at College of Humanities and Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates and PhD Student at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. His research interests include blended learning, educational technology, and online learning. He is the author/co-author of more than 60 articles published in international journals. Please direct correspondence to s.zyoud@ajman.ac.ae.

Dr. Bilal Zakarneh, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Foreign Languages at Ajman University, UAE. With a specialization in English language studies, his research interests encompass Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Discourse Analysis, English Literature, Online Teaching, and English for Specific Purposes. Dr. Zakarneh's expertise contributes to advancing English language education and academic leadership. He has published extensively, sharing his insights and contributing to the field. As an accomplished researcher and academic, he actively engages in teaching and mentoring students, inspiring their intellectual growth. Please direct correspondence to b.ibrahim@ajman.ac.ae.

Najah Rajeh Al Salhi is a Researcher of Educational Science, Education Department, College of Humanities and Sciences at Ajman University. He Holds a PhD degree in Curriculum and Methods of Science (Chemistry). His research interests include Teacher Training, Teaching and Learning, Blended Learning, and STEM. Please direct correspondence to n.alsalhi@ajman.ac.ae

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