Interplay between playful learning, digital materials and physical activity in higher education: A systematic review of qualitative studies using meta-aggregation and GRADE-CERQual

Vici Daphne Händel*, Vibeke Schrøder, Kirsten Birkefoss, Mina Nicole Händel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

The aim was to conduct a meta-aggregation of qualitative studies on the interplay between playful learning, digital materials and physical activity in higher education. A literature search was performed across multiple databases and web pages up until May 2022. A critical appraisal following the JBI checklist for qualitative studies was conducted, and the GRADE-CERQual tool was used to evaluate confidence in the cumulative evidence. Three eligible studies were identified. We extracted 81 findings and 44 illustrations and synthesised them into six categories: (1) experience of playful approaches to learning; (2) interplay between play and learning; (3) experience with digital materials; (4) experience of collaboration; (5) experience with space significance; and (6) experience of getting a reward for participating in the activity. The synthesis showed that the benefits of interplay between playful learning, digital materials and physical activity in higher education were that students were motivated by gamified learning activities, including themes such as competitive spirits, receiving rewards, collaboration and creativity. Both students and educators experience that game-based learning strategies provide meaningful practice because they may facilitate the learning and retention of information by highlighting key information and breaking down information. The synthesis showed that the constraints of the interplay were time as a resource, frustration with using digital materials and that it challenges traditional learning strategies and learning spaces. Confidence in the evidence is low due to moderate concerns regarding methodological limitations and serious concerns regarding the adequacy of the data. Therefore, we highlight the need to expand the field both in practice and research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100284
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research Open
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Digital materials
  • Higher education
  • Physical activity
  • Playful learning
  • Systematic review

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