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Currently submitted to: JMIR Serious Games

Date Submitted: May 19, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: May 22, 2019 - Jul 17, 2019
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Leaderboard Design Principles to Improve Motivation in a Gamified Learning Environment: Cases Analysis and Literature Review for Leaderboard Design

  • Sungjin Park; 
  • Sangkyun Kim


Gamification in education enhances learners’ motivation, problem-solving and decision making abilities, and social skills such as communication. Numerous on-going studies are examining the application of gamification design methodology and game mechanics to a learning environment. Leaderboards are a type of game mechanic that assist learners in goal setting and unleash motivation for learning.


This study suggests principles for leaderboard design to assist learners in efficient goal setting, improve learning motivation, and promote learning in gamified learning environments.


This study analyze previous studies on leaderboards that focus on their educational effectiveness and influence on social interactions and apply our findings to leaderboard design principles.


This study determined four leaderboard design objectives from previous studies. Based on these objectives, we developed three leaderboard design principles. First, macro leaderboards and micro leaderboards should be designed and used together. Second, all the elements used to measure learners’ achievements in an educational environment should be incorporated into the micro leaderboard. Third, leaderboards should be designed and considered for application in contexts other than the learning environment. This study further analyzes best practices considering the three leaderboard design principles.


This study helps to resolve the problems associated with leaderboard design for the application of gamification in educational environments. In classrooms, teachers use existing gamification services. However, this study advocates applying the leaderboard design principles suggested in this research.


Please cite as:

Park S, Kim S

Leaderboard Design Principles to Improve Motivation in a Gamified Learning Environment: Cases Analysis and Literature Review for Leaderboard Design

JMIR Preprints. 19/05/2019:14746

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.14746


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