A Game-based Approach for Open Data in Education: A Systematic Mapping Review


  • Alejandra Celis Vargas Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University
  • Rikke Magnussen Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University




game based learning, open data education, skills development, #, real world problem solving


Open Data is defined as digital data that is made available with the technical and legal characteristics necessary to be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, anytime and anywhere. Examples of Open Data can be data on mobility or pollution, which an increasing number of cities are making available to citizens. In education, the novel field of Open Data has the potential of empowering a young generation with digital skills and critical thinking through work with real-life Open Data. However, the scarcity of methods and tools for skills development and insertion into educational designs reduces the possibility of achieving this potential. This study is part of the project ODECO, aimed at addressing challenges in the creation of Open Data ecosystems in several contexts, such as education. A systematic mapping review was conducted to uncover the research connections between Open Data education and educational games. Twenty-eight studies were identified and analysed through iterative searching and including keywords related to Gamification, Open Data and Education. In doing this, relevant themes and novel approaches in the current literature were found. This paper discusses how the fields of Open Data education and educational games methodologically and theoretically contribute to outline a game-based approach for Open Data in education. An Open Data Gamified Education Framework leads to authentic learning experiences for real-world problem solving in relation to eight actions: connecting classroom activities to real facts, empowering students to act with Open Data, supporting technical Open Data skills in the classroom, building literacy and developing skills, enhancing civic participation, creating more realistic and appealing narratives, extending teaching outside the classroom by collecting data in real time and local settings, and increasing engagement and motivation.