INESC TEC project is the winner of international gamification competition

The European project BEACONING – Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualized, Pervasive and Gameful Learning, developed in partnership with INESC TEC’s Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG), was the big winner of the “Gamification Software Award”. This competition aims to reward disruptive projects in the field of gamification.

The BEACONING project – launched on January 1 2016 – led to the development of a platform seeking to “break” with the current education system, through the creation of a collaborative and multidisciplinary community. Pervasive games with pedagogical challenges can inspire learning “anywhere and at any time”, outside school walls and without any school bells.

“In this community, the games are created by digital game developers and then used by teachers to engage students in more captivating learning processes. These activities are adapted to the individual needs of each student and provide effective learning metrics to teachers and students”, said António Coelho, researcher and head of the project at INESC TEC.

This inclusive system, bringing together teachers, students and guardians, was the winner of the “Gamification Software Award” competition, dedicated to the main projects and applications developed in the field of gamification.

“An exceptional project that has resulted in a valuable platform for educators”, said one of the contest juries, thus justifying the victory of the BEACONING, selected among other international projects.

“I love this project because it has a purpose. Teaching content has not changed in ages. Kids take what they are learning for granted, as well as how they are being taught. Adding gamification in such a clever way, in order to change how education being taught in schools, is exemplary”, adds Mac Karlekar, another member of the jury.

António Coelho, Ademar Aguiar, Augusto Sousa, Rui Rodrigues, Leonel Morgado, João Barroso, Hugo Paredes, Tânia Rocha, Pedro Cardoso, João Jacob, João Faria and Paulo Martins are the names of the researchers involved in the project; INESC TEC was in charge of developing the gamification activities’ authoring tool, oriented to teachers, as well as ensuring the accessibility of said activities, so they are available to all students and teachers.

The BEACONING, funded by the EU Research and Innovation Programme (Horizon 2020), comprehends 15 organisations from nine European countries. The project is coordinated by the Coventry University (United Kingdom), with the following participants: INESC TEC (Portugal); Herriot-Watt University and Hands Free Computing (United Kingdom); Playsoft, Succubus and ORT (France); BIBA Institute (Germany); Imaginary (Italy); Ifinity (Poland); Siveco and ATS (Romania); Complutense University of Madrid and Geomotion (Spain) and Sebit (Turkey).

More information at

The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC, UP-FEUP, UP- FBAUP, UAb and UTAD.

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