Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game settings to engage participants and encourage desired behaviors. It has been identified as a promising technique to improve students' engagement which could have a positive impact on learning. This study evaluated the learning effectiveness and engagement appeal of a gamified learning activity targeted at the learning of C-programming language. Furthermore, the study inquired into which gamified learning activities were more appealing to students. The study was conducted using the mixed-method sequential explanatory protocol. The data collected and analysed included logs, questionnaires, and pre- and post-tests. The results of the evaluation show positive effects on the engagement of students toward the gamified learning activities and a moderate improvement in learning outcomes. Students reported different motivations for continuing and stopping activities once they completed the mandatory assignment. The preferences for different gamified activities were also conditioned by academic milestones.
e-learning; engagement; game dynamics; game mechanics; gamification; computer science students; engagement; gamification; learning activity; e-learning