Educational Digital Games Evaluation as a Teaching Support Tool in Academic Virtuality"
In 2020 COVID-19 imposed forced academic virtuality. This phenomenon offered Education 4.0 an application opportunity for its existing technological tools and their main trends of innovation and change, increasing continuity in vital teaching-learning processes. This matter introduced the need to establish a model to evaluate the usability of supporting technological tools with active learning strategies, including children's educational digital games (EDG). The article presents a methodological model in a case study evaluating EDG's academic experiences in virtual teaching. It also justifies a pilot plan supporting Education 4.0 with gamification and how it strengthens early childhood education in public schools targeting marginal sectors in a densely populated Ecuadorian city. This context evaluates the Utility and Usability factors of a selected EDG series (MIDI-AM) as complementary tools used in the teaching-learning processes of children ages 4 to 7. A mixed qualitative-quantitative method was applied, including exhaustive literature reviews, data collection strategies, and analysis through focus groups and online surveys. The resulting evaluation identified possible improvements in gamification and the production of additional EDG. The study initiated six hypotheses and validated the proposed research model as a tool for evaluating EDG in future academic periods as reinforcement of curricular content fostering more dynamic and active learning.