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The Use of Gamification in Gastronomic Questionnaires

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Obtaining customer opinions and customer wishes is increasingly becoming an important part of any entrepreneurial activity for determining customer satisfaction and, subsequently, optimizing products and services as well as strengthen customer loyalty. In catering, there are several ways to capture the guest’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction, as well as customer preferences and customer needs across different channels. One way to obtain a customer’s opinion is to provide a digital online questionnaire. Unfortunately, the participa-tion of guests in such surveys is usually low. In addition, many online question-naires are aborted prematurely, and questions which require an individual text answer are often left unanswered. Gamification is a process to use game ele-ments, game techniques and game mechanics from games in a different context in order to motivate and force people to do certain activities. This paper dis-cusses whether the use of game elements in an existing gastronomical online questionnaire enhances the engagement of users and whether customer satisfac-tion remains the same. Based on an existing gastronomical online questionnaire from the company ITELL.SOLUTIONS GmbH a gamified questionnaire vari-ant has been developed. Game elements such as points, badges, avatar, story, progress bar and instant feedback have been included. The investigation showed that the use of gamification in questionnaires on open questions did not worsen the involvement of users. The customer satisfac-tion remained unchanged by the embedding of game elements too. Users of the expanded game questionnaire tended to give more precise and longer answers. The completion time also slightly increased for the gamified questionnaire. A direct comparison between the two variants of the questionnaire, showed that users preferred the design of the gamified questionnaire.
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PaperThe Use of Gamification in Gastronomic Questionnaires
The Use of Gamification in Gastronomic Questionnaires
https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v14i02.11695
David Prott (), Martin Ebner
Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
martin.ebner@tugraz.at
AbstractObtaining customer opinions and customer wishes is increasingly
becoming an important part of any entrepreneurial activity for determining cus-
tomer satisfaction and, subsequently, optimizing products and services as well as
strengthen customer loyalty. In catering, there are several ways to capture the
guest’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction, as well as customer preferences and cus-
tomer needs across different channels. One way to obtain a customer’s opinion is
to provide a digital online questionnaire. Unfortunately, the participation of
guests in such surveys is usually low. In addition, many online questionnaires are
aborted prematurely, and questions which require an individual text answer are
often left unanswered. Gamification is a process to use game elements, game
techniques and game mechanics from games in a different context in order to
motivate and force people to do certain activities. This paper discusses whether
the use of game elements in an existing gastronomical online questionnaire en-
hances the engagement of users and whether customer satisfaction remains the
same. Based on an existing gastronomical online questionnaire from the company
ITELL.SOLUTIONS GmbH1 a gamified questionnaire variant has been devel-
oped. Game elements such as points, badges, avatar, story, progress bar and in-
stant feedback have been included.
The investigation showed that the use of gamification in questionnaires on
open questions did not worsen the involvement of users. The customer satisfac-
tion remained unchanged by the embedding of game elements too. Users of the
expanded game questionnaire tended to give more precise and longer answers.
The completion time also slightly increased for the gamified questionnaire. A
direct comparison between the two variants of the questionnaire, showed that us-
ers preferred the design of the gamified questionnaire.
KeywordsOnline questionnaire, gastronomy, customer satisfaction, gamifi-
cation, game elements, ITELL.SOLUTIONS GmbH
1 Introduction
Computer games are increasingly accepted from a societal point of view [1] [2] [3]
and also have the potential to appeal to certain incentives in humans in order to trigger
high motivational readiness and performance [4] [5]. It is exactly this potential that
1 https://itell.solutions (last accessed on 08 September 2019)
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should be used in everyday activities and in other game-free environments [6]. Gami-
fication offers such an opportunity and is considered an innovative approach to posi-
tively impact the motivation and performance of people in different fields of application
[3].
Studies have shown that the use of game elements in certain areas has a positive
effect on the motivation and engagement of users, and that certain activities and prob-
lems of users can be carried out and solved more efficiently and conscientiously [7] [8]
[9].
Deterding [10] stated the term gamification is "the use of game design elements in
non-game contexts". In this definition, game design elements are referred to as specific
and characteristic components of games [10]. Game design elements serve as a as main
ingredient of gamification [11] [12].
There are many different collections and categorizations of game design elements
[3]. Very often game design elements such as points, badges and leader boards are as-
sociated with gamification [12].
Nowadays using gamification creates the expectation that the use of game design
elements in certain fields of application has a positive effect on the commitment and
performance of the users [3]. One possible application for gamification is data collec-
tion [3]. Especially in the catering industry data about customer satisfaction, needs and
wishes can be collected via a digital online questionnaire [13]. One challenge with this
kind of data collection is to attract potential participants and to motivate them to partic-
ipate in the survey [14]. Another problem with this form of inquiry is the premature
dropout rate of a questionnaire [15]. Reasons for that could be low motivation of the
participants [16], length of the questionnaire or its uninteresting design [17]. Quite often
questionnaires are perceived as boring, which does not immediately interrupt the ques-
tionnaire, but the problem is that the questions to be answered are read in a less con-
centrated manner and thus more inaccurate answers will be given [17]. There is still
little research on gamification in this area of data collection. The following assumptions
are discussed in this paper:
Hypothesis 1: When an existing gastronomic questionnaire is expanded with game
elements, the engagement of the users increases.
Hypothesis 2: When an existing gastronomic questionnaire is expanded with game
elements, customer satisfaction remains at least the same.
Based on these hypotheses the following research questions arise:
How much does the processing time on the gamified questionnaire increase in me-
dian compared to the classical questionnaire?
How does the response rate change by using a gamified questionnaire compared to
the classical questionnaire?
How much does the median of characters in text responses in the gamified question-
naire increase compared to the classical questionnaire?
How much does the dropout rate of the gamified questionnaire decrease compred to
the classical questionnaire?
What is the difference in customer satisfaction when answering the gamified ques-
tionnaire compared to the classical questionnaire?
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2 Research Design
For the empirical study two-questionnaire versions, a classical and a gamified ques-
tionnaire, were used to compare the results of user responses within a certain period of
time. The classical online questionnaire (Fig. 1), which has been specifically designed
for the catering industry, was used and expanded with game elements to create a gam-
ified questionnaire (Fig. 2).
The classical questionnaire consists of both closed and open questions as well as
evaluation questions and includes a simple design. Furthermore, there are only few col-
ors and animations used in this questionnaire [18]. For the creation of the gamified
questionnaire, the existing procedure of the questionnaire was slightly modified and
enriched with additional animations. For example, clicking on an answer briefly hides
the selection button to give feedback to users that the answer has been selected. In order
to get the full attention and concentration of the users, a design with many colors, with
several illustrations and rounded edges was used. The gamified questionnaire used a
story with multiple avatars, a highlighted selection indicator, points, and multiple
badges as game design elements.
Fig. 1. Start page Classical questionnaire. (Thank you for your visit. Help us to improve our
offer and give us feedback.); translation of picture text.
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Fig. 2. Start page Gamified questionnaire. (You are one of the few chosen to fill out the gam-
ified questionnaire. Collect skill points, badges and much more. Take your chance!!!);
translation of picture text.
2.1 Development tools
In order to program the online questionnaire, only open-source programs and librar-
ies were used. Since the classical questionnaire was implemented in the form of a web
application the front-end used the typescript-based framework Angular2. For backend
development the Django framework3, a Python-based framework4, has been chosen.
The relational database management system MariaDB5 was used to store the data. The
embedded animations are based on CSS36 instructions.
2 https://angular.io (last accessed on 08 September 2019)
3 https://www.djangoproject.com (last accessed on 08 September 2019)
4 https://www.python.org (last accessed on 08 September 2019)
5 https://mariadb.org (last accessed on 17 September 2019)
6 http://www.selfhtml5.org/ (last accessed on 08 September 2019)
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2.2 Game design elements of the gamified questionnaire
In the gamified questionnaire seven different game design elements were used.
These cover the core drives such as meaning, creativity, performance, possession, and
unpredictability and include both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors [19].
The following game design elements (Fig. 3) are included in the gamified question-
naire:
Narrative - A story gives additional meaning to the activity to be performed and it
has been scientifically proven that the human brain processes information much
more easily, when it is embedded in a context [20].
Avatar - Researches have shown that experiences a person makes with or through
an avatar affect perception and behaviour outside the virtual world [21].
Points - Gathering points additionally motivates a person to perform certain activi-
ties. For example, points are used as status icons to show other people how well they
interact with the system [12], [22].
Badges - Badges are visual representations of certain achievements [12]. Badges
also have motivational factors. For example, they define goals that users can use to
align themselves with, they indicate how the system is structured and show what
opportunities users have in the system [23].
Progress bar - Users strongly prefer applications with progress indicators, as they
can estimate how long, for example, the computation time or load process of an ap-
plication will take [24].
Instant feedback - Instant feedback is the immediate feedback of the system during
or after an activity by users. Users get information on how they are progressing in
the system and can thus learn very quickly how to improve themselves in a gamified
process [24].
Glowing choice - Glowing choice helps users to move forward in an activity that
uses visual representations to refer to the next action [19].
The ideas for the story and the associated avatars Figure 4 as well as the design in
general, are the result of own experiences with game design elements. The game design
items points and badges were chosen because they are used in most gamified applica-
tions [12]. The story and associated avatars were chosen to help explain why giving
feedback is important to a business. The selection of glowing choice (Fig. 5) was made
so that users get pre-generated answer possibilities in order to create an incentive to
deliver a text response or a longer text response.
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Fig. 3. Game design elements of the gamified questionnaire. (Question 6: The waitstaff at
Dean & David is); translation of picture text.
The progress bar and instant feedback (Fig. 6) were chosen to provide the user with
feedback on his activity at all times and to motivate the user to complete the question-
naire. In addition, the selection of each game design element was made so that almost
all core drives were used [19]. The inclusion of previous gamification research in the
field of data collection also influenced the selection of elements such as points, rewards,
progress or avatars [9] [26] [27]. In order to make measurability comprehensible only
a maximum of seven game design elements was used.
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Fig. 4. Except from the story with avatars. (My friends and I will guide you through the jungle
of questions and bring your answers to our King Dean & David); translation of picture
text.
Fig. 5. Glowing Choice with open questions. (Suppose you manage our restaurant for a day,
what would you improve? For example the ingredients for the salad, the food, etc.);
translation of picture text.
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Fig. 6. Final Page with feedback on progress. (Your today's achievement. You have answered 8
out of 9 questions. You have collected 40 gold talers. You needed 97 seconds to complete
the questionnaire. Your current progress. The king has received 2 feedbacks from you.
Your treasure chest contains 45 gold talers. Your effort earned 2 medals.); translation of
picture text.
2.3 Sequence of the gamified questionnaire
The structure and sequence of the gamified questionnaire has been slightly adjusted
compared to the classical questionnaire. Due to the use of a story and the associated
avatars the start screen was adjusted and other questions have been added to the avatar
selection. The sequence of the gamified questionnaire is shown in Figure 7.
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Fig. 7. Sequence of the gamified questionnaire
2.4 Measurement
Within a defined period of two months both versions of the questionnaire have been
used in a selected catering company. Those people who consumed something, used the
KUBO app (it’s a customer loyalty app from the ITELL.SOLUTIONS company, which
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contains the online questionnaire)7 and additionally scanned the QR code on the bill
were able to participate in the questionnaire. They got either the classical or the gami-
fied feedback form. In order to guarantee the comparability of the two questionnaire
versions in terms of structure and design, three additional questions were added. The
additional questions evaluated the questionnaire in general, the used elements and an
open question for obtaining suggestions for improvements regarding the questionnaire
tool. All replies as well as the corresponding date and time of the accesses are stored in
the database. The calculation of the questionnaire duration uses the access time and the
completion time of a user answering the questionnaire. On the penultimate page (Fig.
7) there is a send button to mark the questionnaire as successfully completed, so that
the abort rate can be determined to. The response rate can be determined as follows:
Each invoice scan with the KUBO app automatically invokes one of the two question-
naire versions. Users then have the option to either fill in the questionnaire or to close
it. The response rate thus results from the number of completed questionnaires com-
pared to the number of scanned invoices.
Fig. 8. Thank you text and button to send the questionnaire successfully.
(Almost done! You did very well. Thank you for daring to join us in the adventure. On
the next page you can see your achievements.); translation of picture text
7 https://kubo.rocks (last accessed on 08 September 2019
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3 Evaluation
The survey involved 150 people, who had invoked one of the two questionnaire ver-
sions. 141 of these questionnaires have been successfully sent in total.
3.1 Demographics Gender and age
A total of 105 participants entered their gender, 36 persons remained anonymous and
the remaining 9 persons could not be assigned because they prematurely quit the ques-
tionnaire and the gender-question is placed at the end of the questionnaire. 45% of all
users are part of an age group which includes ages between 26 and 40. This group is
the largest one in the empirical study. The second largest group is formed by persons
between 41 and 55 years. This group represents 18% of all users.
3.2 Processing time during the completion process of the questionnaire
The following table 1 shows the median and the average of the processing time and
as well as the minimum and maximum completion time for the different questionnaire
type.
Table 1. Processing time of the classical questionnaire and gamified questionnaire
3.3 Response rate
The following table 2 shows the response rate for the classical and the gamified
questionnaire. The response rate is the number of started questionnaire instances di-
vided by the number of scanned bills.
Table 2. Response rate of the classical questionnaire
Questionnaire type
Return rate broken off
and completed feed-
backs
Return rate with com-
pleted feedbacks
Return rate (1x invoice
and 1x feedback from
the same user
Classical
21,01%
19,49%
27,46%
Gamified
14,89%
14,22%
28,09%
Since the two questionnaire versions were used in the live operation of a catering
company, it is possible that participants call the questionnaire several times. Column 3
in table 2 takes this assumption into account. Accordingly, the rate changes.
Questionnaire
Average
Median
Min
Max
Classical
00:01:04
00:00:40
00:00:10
00:19:31
Gamified
00:03:25
00:01:26
00:00:15
00:48:02
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3.4 Median of number of characters in text responses
Table 3 shows the median and the average of the number of characters in open-text
responses, the text reply rate, as well as the maximum and minimum number of char-
acters in a text response for the classical and the gamified questionnaire.
Table 3. Evaluation of the number of characters in the classical and gamified questionnaire
Questionnai
re type
Number of
feedbacks
Number of
text
answers
Text reply
quote
Average of
used charac-
ters
Median on used
characters
Max
Min
Classical
77
39
57,53%
15,23
9
89
1
Gamified
64
35
54,69%
44,53
25
626
2
Table 4 shows a brief excerpt of text responses including suggestions for improve-
ment or wishes regarding the open question.
Table 4. Excerpt from text responses from the classical questionnaire and the gamified ques-
tionnaire
Text answers from the classical questionnaire
Text answers from the gamified questionnaire
Put tofu back to your assortment
A little cheaper
Sometimes small things are forgotten. Double check
would be good.
Bigger portions
Continue as it is!
Nothing
Make the portions bigger.
No idea
Many fruits.
Hz (meaningless)
Use all the ingredients in the salad that are also on the
list.
Hg (meaningless)
Give roasted nuts and seeds in all salads. More urban
drinks.
3.5 Dropout rate
Table 5 and table 6 show the dropout rates for the classical and the gamified ques-
tionnaire.
Table 5. Distribution of dropouts and completions in the classical questionnaire
Frequency
Percent
Valid conclusion
77
93%
Dropout
6
7%
Total
83
100%
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Table 6. Distribution of dropouts and completions in the gamified questionnaire
Frequency
Percent
Valid conclusion
64
96%
Dropout
3
4%
Total
67
100%
3.6 (Dis) Satisfaction of guests with regard to the questionnaire
For the determination of the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the users and the finding
of what the users particularly did liked or did not liked about the questionnaire tool, a
questionnaire on the questionnaire tool, a question with multiple choice about the ele-
ments in the questionnaire and an open question about how to improve the questionnaire
tool have been asked. Table 7. shows the customer satisfaction and the score for the
classical and the gamified questionnaire.
Table 7. Customer satisfaction and rating to the questionnaire tool
Customer satisfaction
Rating questionnaire
Classical questionnaire
4.4
4.1
Gamified questionnaire
4.4
4.1
Table 8 and table 9 show the answer options for the classical and the gamified ques-
tionnaire and how often they were selected.
Table 8. Multiple choice of elements in the classical questionnaire
Elements in the questionnaire
#Numner of entries
Percentage
Usability
22
38%
Simpleness
33
57%
Design
9
16%
Speed
15
26%
Own words
0
0%
Table 9. Multiple choice of elements in the gamified questionnaire
Elements in the questionnaire
#Numner of entries
Percentage
Avatars/Characters
15
31%
Story
8
16%
Design
28
57%
Animations
15
31%
Usability
22
45%
Own words
1
2%
For the qualitative content analysis and in order to obtain research-relevant results
from the answers to the open question, the evaluation is carried out according to Mayr-
ing [28].
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In the classical questionnaire the question of possibilities for improvement was an-
swered in 30 out of 77 cases, which corresponds to about 39%. In the gamified ques-
tionnaire 39 out of 64 participants, that is about 45%, provided textual answers for im-
provement. Compared to the classical questionnaire the percentage of text answers is
thus 6 percentage points higher. For a better and more simple evaluation the text re-
sponses from the classical and gamified questionnaire were copied from the database
and prepared in the form of tables.
The evaluation of the text responses has shown that very often only individual words,
characters or incomplete sentences were present. When analyzing the text responses
from the classical questionnaire, very often only one letter was used. The reason for this
is probably that the users have assumed that the question is obligatory and can be an-
swered by entering a sign. In the present text answers a grouping was made regarding
the content. Text responses that contain only one character or that contain words that
could not be attributed to the German dictionary have been removed from the list. Col-
loquial words or answers were accordingly circumscribed with other words, so that a
grouping could be accomplished. A special concern during the transcription was that
the statement is not distorted. Table 10 and table 11 show the text responses and the
number of responses to the open question regarding improvements to the classical and
gamified questionnaire tool.
Table 10. Key messages with the number of answers in the classical questionnaire
Text answer
Number of entries
No improvements necessary
8
Questionnaire too long
3
QR-Code-Scanner does not work
1
Table 11. Key messages with the number of answers in the gamified questionnaire
Text answer
Number of entries
Design
11
Animations
3
Questionnaire fits
3
Display of text fields
2
4 Discussion
The evaluation of the individual results shows that the use of game elements in a
gastronomical online questionnaire did not lead to any deterioration in the involvement
of users. There are slight tendencies between the two questionnaire versions but due to
the small number of participants no clear conclusions can be drawn here.
The processing time in the completion process of the gamified questionnaire tends
to be longer in median and on average. One reason for this could actually be that the
users have dealt with the individual questions for a longer time. Another possible reason
could be that the sequence in the gamified questionnaire was enlarged by the story and
the avatar selection. So especially the question about avatar selection took more time.
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Research question 1 can be answered as follows: The processing time for the gamified
questionnaire increases by 46 seconds in the median compared to the classical ques-
tionnaire.
Regarding the response rate the classical questionnaire tends to perform better than
the gamified questionnaire. Here is the assumption that users either give feedback on
the first time they go to a restaurant and / or if their stay at the restaurant has been
particularly positive or negative. Research question 2 can be answered as follows: The
response rate has dropped from 5.27 percentage points to 14.22 percentage points com-
pared to the classical questionnaire.
Regarding the text response rate for open questions about improving the experience
the evaluation shows that the gamified questionnaire tends to have a higher quota than
the classical questionnaire. In addition, the median and the average of the number of
characters used in the gamified questionnaire are also higher than in the classical ques-
tionnaire. The assumption here is that the pre-generated answer option for open ques-
tions tends to encourage more users to write a text response. Research question 3 can
be answered as follows: The median of the number of characters in text responses in
the gamified questionnaire increased from nine to 25 characters compared to the clas-
sical questionnaire.
The dropout rate for both questionnaire versions is low and there are no big differ-
ences. The classical questionnaire had a dropout rate of 7% and and the gamified ques-
tionnaire had a dropout rate of 4%. The dropout rate for both questionnaire versions are
very low. One possible reason for this low dropout rate is probably that all questions in
the questionnaire are optional. This means that not all questions need to be answered.
If the completeness of the feedback data is considered, a correlation between the low
abandonment rate and the optional questions is obvious.
In order to demonstrate an actual connection between the reduction of the dropout
rate and the use of game design elements, a larger number of completed questionnaires
will be needed. To answer the research question 4 the result is as follows:
The dropout rate of the gamified questionnaire is three percentage points lower than
the classical questionnaire.
Regarding the customer satisfaction the evaluation showed that the use of game ele-
ments had no direct impact on customer satisfaction. The restaurant rating was 4.1
points for both the gamified and the classic questionnaire. Finally, the guests indicated
that they tend to prefer the design of the gamified questionnaire rather than the classic
questionnaire.
5 Conclusion
The use of gamification in the questionnaire showed that guests preferred to give
more and more precise answers to open questions. In addition, it was also found that
there was a tendency for more complete feedback to be sent to the gamified question-
naire. The processing time for the gamified questionnaire also tended to be slightly
higher than for the classic questionnaire. It should be noted, that due to the small num-
ber of participants, there is still the need to use both questionnaire versions over a longer
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period of time or in several different companies in order to find more meaningful dif-
ferences.
Furthermore, there is a need for research to find out why the guests tended to give
longer answers in the gamified questionnaire or which game design elements influenced
them by answering the questions. With regard to the processing time, it is necessary to
research and analyze whether the avatar selection page had an influence on the pro-
cessing time.
In order to make the individual game design elements more measurable it would be
useful to conduct usability tests8 in the form of Thinking Aloud Tests in order to obtain
direct feedback from the users on the system. In addition, it is possible here to combine
the usability feedback data from the test with the possibilities for improvement outlined
in the database. The participants can express their wishes and suggestions for improve-
ment in a very concrete way.
In the gamified questionnaire, the design was often perceived as particularly appeal-
ing. In this case, it could be clarified in the next step which parts of the design, such as
color values, shape, etc., are viewed particularly positively.
According to the Hypothesis 1, the commitment of the users has not decreased. More
users have tended to answer open questions and tend to use more characters. According
to Hypothesis 2, the use of game elements also has no influence on customer satisfac-
tion. There are slight tendencies that users prefer to fill out the gamified questionnaire.
The processing time is slightly longer for the gamified questionnaire than for the classic
questionnaire. In the comparison between the classical and the gamified questionnaire
the customer satisfaction remained at least the same. That means that the evaluation of
the gamified and the classical questionnaire results in a customer satisfaction of 4.4
points out of 5 possible points.
In summary, it can be stated that due to the small number of participants with 150
persons, only slight tendencies can be derived. The use of game elements in the ques-
tionnaire has shown that there has been no deterioration in the involvement of users.
The game elements have also had no negative impact on customer satisfaction. A fur-
ther result is that the guests prefer the design of the gamified questionnaire. It is im-
portant to mention that for the integration of game elements special care is required, so
that accurate motivators and drives are triggered, which are essential for the achieve-
ment of goals.
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7 Authors
David Prott is with the Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria.
(david.prott@student.tugraz.at)
Martin Ebner is with the Social Learning Department at Graz University of Tech-
nology, Graz, Austria. (e-mail: martin.ebner@tugraz.at). As head of the Department, he
is responsible for all university wide e-learning activities. He holds an Assoc. Prof. on
media informatics and works also at the Institute for Information System Computer
Media as senior researcher. For publications as well as further research activities, please
visit: http://martinebner.atArticle submitted 16 October 2017. Published as resubmitted
by the authors 29 November 2017.
Article submitted 2019-09-18. Resubmitted 2019-10-18. Final acceptance 2019-10-18. Final version pub-
lished as submitted by the authors.
118
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