Kuxtal: Student Motivation Through Megagames in Higher Education Design Students





experiential learning, Higher Education, educational innovation, megagames, Tec 21 Educative Model


Megagames are an engaging combination of different game resources. They involve role-play, social connection, simulations, rules, economics, politics, decision making among others that are merged into an immersive narrative, all of which are essential applications of experiential learning. They can last from one day up to one month, they are known to be collaborative and can be played by several players at the same time. In education, collaboration between individuals is an integral competence that has to be nurtured among the academic community. During the game dynamics, multiple experiences, events, and actions are activated that enhance curiosity and emotions among students which, in turn, impact their motivation in the learning process. Wicked problems are undetermined problems that  are resistant to change, possess a social and cultural context, several stakeholders are involved and overall are complex to solve. In this paper we explore 1) the use of megagames as a component to motivate student-learning of Higher Education (HE) students of the fourth semester of a degree in Design at the Tecnologico de Monterrey institution, located in the northwestern region of Mexico in the State of Sonora. We also 2) analyzed if research and action was triggered among students through the megagame, Kuxtal. The megagame, aims to promote student-learning through understanding wicked problems: that all living beings face in regards to water: its scarcity, its pollution and its mismanagement. In this qualitative study, we used Jones (2021) user guide for assessing components of the MUSIC model of motivation to understand empowerment, usefulness, success, interest, and caring. With the incorporation of megagames in the classroom, educators were able to promote student motivation and students engaged in research methodology, all while adopting small world-changing actions in their everyday lives. This paper aims to promote the advantages of using megagames as an educational resource in Higher Education creative fields such as Design, Architecture and Communication.