Armando Toda

PhD. in Computer Science
PDRA @ Durham University
  • University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Durham University (UK)

About me

PhD. in Computer Science in University of Sao Paulo (USP). Former visiting student at Durham University (DU). Have a Bachelor in Computer Sciences at Centro Universitario do Para (CESUPA) and a Master of Sciences degree at Londrina State University (UEL). I've worked in different areas as Image Processing, Computer Graphics, Digital Games, Game-based-learning, Gamification, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Thinking, and Education. My desire is to show the world the benefits offered by games as tools to motivate, engage, and make the world a better place.

Research Topics


Digital Games

Teacher Formation

Data Mining

Learning Environments

Artificial Intelligence

Computational Thinking

Recent Publications

  • For whom should we gamify? Insights on the users intentions and context towards gamification in education

    2020 Armando Toda, Filipe Dwan Pereira, Ana Carolina Tomé Klock, Luiz Rodrigues, Paula Palomino, Wilk Oliveira, Elaine Harada Teixeira Oliveira, Isabela Gasparini, Alexandra Ioana Cristea, Seiji Isotani

    Gamification design in educational environments is not trivial and many variables need to be considered to achieve positive outcomes. Often, educators and designers do not know when the students intentions on the use of gamified environments might influence their experience. Based on this premise, this paper describes an exploratory study on the users intention to use gamification, focusing on its influence in the field of education. We conducted a survey study with participants (N= 1.692) and analysed their answers using unsupervised data mining techniques. As a result, we obtained empirical evidence showing that demographic and contextual variables influence (positively and negatively) peoples intention to use gamification. This evidence can support designers and educators better understand whether and when they should or should not gamify a learning environment.


  • Using learning analytics in the Amazonas: understanding students’ behaviour in introductory programming

    2020 Filipe D Pereira, Elaine HT Oliveira, David BF Oliveira, Alexandra I Cristea, Leandro SG Carvalho, Samuel C Fonseca, Armando Toda, Seiji Isotani

    Tools for automatic grading programming assignments, also known as Online Judges, have been widely used to support computer science (CS) courses. Nevertheless, few studies have used these tools to acquire and analyse interaction data to better understand the students’ performance and behaviours, often due to data availability or inadequate granularity. To address this problem, we propose an Online Judge called CodeBench, which allows for fine‐grained data collection of student interactions, at the level of, eg, keystrokes, number of submissions, and grades. We deployed CodeBench for 3 years (2016–18) and collected data from 2058 students from 16 introductory computer science (CS1) courses, on which we have carried out fine‐grained learning analytics, towards early detection of effective/ineffective behaviours regarding learning CS concepts. Results extract clear behavioural classes of CS1 students, significantly differentiated both semantically and statistically, enabling us to better explain how student behaviours during programming have influenced learning outcomes. Finally, we also identify behaviours that can guide novice students to improve their learning performance, which can be used for interventions. We believe this work is a step forward towards enhancing Online Judges and helping teachers and students improve their CS1 teaching/learning practices.


  • GamiCSM: relating education, culture and gamification-a link between worlds

    2020 Armando Toda, Ana Carolina Tomé Klock, Paula T Palomino, Luiz Rodrigues, Wilk Oliveira, Craig Stewart, Alexandra I Cristea, Isabela Gasparini, Seiji Isotani

    The potential of gamification to improve users' motivation and engagement influenced many researchers and professionals to analyse its effects in educational settings. While some studies focus on adapting game elements according to demographic and behavioural information of the user profile, few of them explore (or even consider) cultural factors. These cultural factors play an essential role in our societies' development. Thus, this work proposes and evaluates a representative model to understand better the relationship between cultural factors and gamification within educational domains, namely the Gamification for Cultural Studies Model (GamiCSM). Through a qualitative approach, we map Hofstede's cultural dimensions (i.e., power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, long/short-term orientation, and indulgence/restraint) with a Taxonomy of Gamification Elements for Education (TGEEE), a recent model for gamification elements for educational environments. Furthermore, we adapted a survey to evaluate the resultant model with eight domain experts in gamification and education. Based on this evaluation, we are able to propose a starting model, containing some additional refinements and improvements. Thus, the main contributions of this work are: (i) the first model to relate game elements and cultural dimensions within educational domains and (ii) a state-of-the-art empirical study intersecting culture, gamification and education.


  • Gamification Works, but How and to Whom?: An Experimental Study in the Context of Programming Lessons

    2021 Luiz Rodrigues, Armando M Toda, Wilk Oliveira, Paula T Palomino, Anderson Paulo Avila-Santos, Seiji Isotani

    Programming is a complex, not trivial to learn and teach task, which gamification can facilitate. However, how gamification affects learning and the influence of context-related aspects on that effect demand research to better understand how and to whom gamification enhances programming learning. Therefore, we conducted an experimental study analyzing how gamification worked and the role of context-related aspects in terms of intervention duration and learners' familiarity with programming (i.e., the task's topic). It was a six-week study with 19 undergraduate students from an Algorithms class that measured their learning gains, intrinsic motivation, and number of completed quizzes. Mainly, we found gamification affected learning via intrinsic motivation, effect that depended on intervention duration and learners' familiarity with programming. That is, intrinsic motivation strongly predicted learning gains and gamification's effect on intrinsic motivation changed over time, decreasing from positive to negative as learners had less familiarity with programming. Thus, showing gamification can positively impact programming learning by improving students' intrinsic motivation, although that effect changes over time depending on one's previous familiarity with programming.



  • PhD. in Computer Science

    2016 - 2021 University of Sao Paulo

    Title: Contributions for Gamification Design in Educational Contexts Supervision: Dr. Seiji Isotani and Dr. Alexandra I. Cristea

  • Visiting PhD. Student

    2018 - 2019 Durham University

    Title: Data-driven approaches to improve gamification design in educational environments Supervision: Dr. Alexandra I. Cristea

  • MSc. in Computer Science

    2013 - 2015 Londrina State University

    Title: SIGMA: Gamified System for Mathematics
    Supervision: Dr. Jacques Brancher

  • Bachelor in Computer Science

    2009 - 2012 University Center of Para

    Title: Intelligent Tutor System for objective exams
    Supervision: Msc Polyana Fonseca and Msc. Ricardo do Carmo


Durham, United Kingdom

Visiting PhD. student at Durham University. Part of the international scholarship program from Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP). The objective of this project is to explore how to use data-driven approaches to improve the gamification design in educational environments. This occurs by analysing existing datasets containing users' preferences and interactions with game elements to improve their experience in gamified environments.

1 year - 2018/2019
Londrina, Brazil

Researcher at Londrina State University. Part of the technological development scholarship program from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq). The objective of this project was to mine and collect information concerning sports results among many modalities and create a visualization platform.

1 year - 2015/2016


SBIE 2020

2nd Best Paper Award in Track 2 at the 2020 Simpósio Brasileiro de Informática na Educação @ Online

ICALT 2019

Best Paper Award at the 2019 IEEE 19th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT) @ Maceió


Specialization Monographs

Dalmo Rodrigues da Silva. Atividades de pensamento computacional em aulas de matemática na educação básica. 2020.

Eliane Cruz de Santana Galvão. Pensamento computacional como forma de avançar na aprendizagem de Matemática - Um compartilhamento entre o pensamento computacional e o pensamento matemático. 2020.

Joseane Terto de Souza Uema. A aprendizagem da rotina escolar de estudantes com autismo como possibilidade de jogo sério. 2020.

Laudeir José Lopes de Oliveira. Explorando o Pensamento Computacional com Aprendizado de Máquina: Elaboração de um Material Didático para uma Oficina Introdutória. 2020.

Luiza de Oliveira Silva. O desenvolvimento do Pensamento Computacional na construção de Narrativas Digitais no Ensino de Língua Portuguesa. 2020.

Maristela Dantas. Como o professor pode utilizar o pensamento computacional no planejamento de aulas remotas. 2020.

Osvaldo Ferreira de Andrade. Relato de Experiência a partir do Uso do Tangram para Alunos Ensino Fundamental. 2020.

Patrícia Bárbara de Paula. A compreensão do Pensamento Computacional através do espaço habitado com uso da ferramenta Google Maps. 2020.

Roni Costa Ferreira. O Ensino de Programação de Computadores como Ferramenta de Letramento Digital Crítico e de Cidadania Global. 2020.

Thais Helena de Carvalho. Uma análise do impacto do uso de ferramentas da gamificação em atividades matemáticas.. 2020.

Luis Fernando Pacheco Pereira. Pensamento Computacional no contexto da BNCC, aplicado a projetos de empreendedorismo como fator de inclusão social. 2020.

Josenilton de Aragão Lima. Proposta de Curso de Extensão para Desenvolver o Pensamento Computacional no Ensino Médio Integrado. 2020.

Luciano Novaes De Carvalho. Análise do comportamento dos professores e alunos da educação básica tradicional no ensino remoto emergencial no cenário de Pandemia de COVID-19. 2020.

Eryka Eugênia Fernandes Augusto. Pensamento Computacional aplicado ao ensino de LR de REEE. 2020.

Lives and Talks

[2020] SEI-UDESC - Gamificação e seus desafios na educação (In portuguese)

Joint presentation with Ana Carolina Tomé Klock. Watch it here.

[2021] Projeto Audiovisual - Gamificação na Educação: Desafios e Aplicaçoes em ambientes escolares (In portuguese)

Watch it here.

[2021] Zerando a Mesa - #23 Gamificação com Armando Toda (In portuguese)

Listen it here.

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