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The full text of my thesis can be found here (in French).

Title :
                   A system for adaptive gamification
                          of learning environments
           based on the player profiles of the learners

Jury :
     Stéphane NATKIN, Professeur des Universités (CNAM de Paris), président
     Vanda LUENGO, Professeur des Universités (Université Pierre et Marie Curie), rapporteur
     Pascal ESTRAILLIER, Professeur des Universités (Université de La Rochelle), rapporteur
     Baltasar FERNANDEZ-MANJON, Professeur des Universités (Universidad Computense de Madrid), examinateur
     Christine MICHEL, Maître de Conférences HDR (INSA de Lyon), examinatrice
     Michel DESMARAIS, Professeur des Universités (Polytechnique Montréal), invité
     François PARET, Directeur général de Woonoz, invité
     Sébastien GEORGE, Professeur des Universités (Université du Maine), directeur
     Élise LAVOUÉ, Maître de Conférences (Université Lyon 3), co-encadrante

Abstract :
     Gamification of learning environments is becoming a widely used approach to ad-dress the lack of learner motivation. However, several research results show that learners have different sensitivities to the proposed game mechanics. In our thesis work, we state that the current gamification systems do not take into account the diversity of individual preferences. We propose to address the issue of the adap-tation of playful elements to the learners’ profiles according to their characteristics as players. We base our work on existing approaches in the gaming area in order to provide a generic model for the adaptation of gaming features according to the player profile of the learners.

     Our theoretical contributions are structured around two main axes. Firstly, we propose to design fun features like epiphytes, systems that are distinct from the learning environment and can be activated independently for each user. We built a framework describing what an Epiphytic Gaming Feature (EGF) is. It comes with a gaming features design guide to help the designers of gamification systems. Secondly, we propose a dynamic adaptation process that works in two steps: the selection of gaming features based on the player profile, and the updat-ing of the player profile according to the user’s interactions with the gaming fea-tures. These operations are based on a model that formalizes the links between gaming features and player types.

     We implemented the proposed models in an online learning environment of French spelling called Projet Voltaire. We conducted three experiments to eval-uate the proposed system, according to an iterative process. The first experiment was used to validate the implementation of the adaptation model and the Epiphytic Gaming Feature with an audience of middle school students. The following two experiments were conducted with a public of adults, with 67 and 266 participants respectively. They were focused on the evaluation of the adaptation model and its impact on learner motivation. They showed that the adaptation model can be based on expert judgements to make the link between gaming features and player types. Moreover, the results confirmed that providing the learners with gaming features that are adapted to their player profile has a significant positive impact on their motivation and their usage time of the learning environment.