Armando Toda

PhD. Student
  • University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Durham University (UK)

About me

I'm a PhD. student at 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

  • A Taxonomy of Game Elements for Gamification in Educational Contexts: Proposal and Evaluation

    2019 Armando M. Toda, Wilk Oliveira, Ana C. Klock, Paula T. Palomino, Marcelo Pimenta, Isabela Gasparini, Lei Shi, Ig Bittencourt, Seiji Isotani and Alexandra I. Cristea

    Gamification has been widely employed in the educational domain over the past eight years when the term became a trend. However, the literature states that gamification still lacks formal definitions to support the design of gamified strategies. This paper aims to create a taxonomy for the game elements, based on gamification experts' opinions. After a brief review from existing work, we extract first the game elements from the current state of the art, and then evaluate them via a survey with 19 gamification and education experts. The resulting taxonomy taxonomy included the description of 21 game elements and their quantitative and qualitative evaluation by the experts. Overall, the proposed taxonomy was in general well accepted by most of the experts. They also suggested expanding it with the inclusion of Narrative and Storytelling game elements. Thus, the main contribution of this paper is proposing a new, confirmed taxonomy to standardise the terminology used to define the game elements as a mean to design and deploy gamification strategies in the educational domain.


  • Validating the Effectiveness of Data-Driven Gamification Recommendations: An Exploratory Study

    2019 Armando M. Toda, Paula T. Palomino, Luiz Rodrigues, Wilk Oliveira, Lei Shi, Seiji Isotani and Alexandra I. Cristea

    Gamification design has benefited from data-driven approaches to creating strategies based on students' characteristics. However, these strategies need further validation to verify their effectiveness in e-learning environments. The exploratory study presented in this paper thus aims at verifying how data-driven gamified strategies are perceived by the students, i.e., the users of e-learning environments. In this study, we conducted a survey presenting 25 predefined strategies, based on a previous study, to students and analysed each strategy's perceived relevance, instanced in an e-learning environment. Our results show that students perceive Acknowledgement, Objective and Progression as important elements in a gamified e-learning environment. We also provide new insights about existing elements and design recommendations for domain specialists.


  • Exploring Content Game Elements to Support Gamification Design in Educational Systems: Narrative and Storytelling

    2019 Paula T. Palomino, Armando M. Toda, Wilk Oliveira, Luiz Rodrigues, Alexandra I. Cristea and Seiji Isotani

    Several studies on gamification applied to educational systems aim at encouraging students to do certain tasks and improving their learning. According to the literature, most gamification frameworks are structural (e.g. scoring systems, ranking, etc.), with few content-related frameworks. To the best of our knowledge, there is no narrative framework available. Therefore this paper analyses data obtained from a survey about the students' preferred game elements in an educational context, with focus on Association Rules found concerning Narrative and Storytelling elements. We show that Narrative and Story-telling are tightly related and provide insights of their use in groups with other game elements, enabling the creation of gamified strategies based on these aspects .


  • Thinking Inside the Box: How to Tailor Gamified Educational Systems Based on Learning Activities Types

    2019 Luiz Rodrigues, Wilk Oliveira, Armando M. Toda, Paula T. Palomino and Seiji Isotani

    Selecting gamification elements suitable for specific players (personalization) has been sought to improve the impacts of Gamified Educational Systems (GES). However, the lack of context might be a factor on the inconsistent results of those approaches. To address this lack, we introduce a method for personalizing GES based on learning activities types. The assumption is that selecting gamification elements for specific types of learning activities has the potential to improve GES impact on users by considering the context of each activity and, thus, contributing to their learning process. We describe how to apply our approach, how it differs from user-based methods, as well as discuss three cases of application and challenges yet to be tackled.



  • PhD. in Computer Science

    2016 - Now University of Sao Paulo

    Title: Computational framework for designing gamification in educational environments 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


ICALT 2019

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

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