Chapter 5: Gamification

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Design new content for current courses. (LO2)
  • Investigate new forms of media to engage students. (LO3)

But, first, a note:

While it is important to note that game-based learning of any variety will not be appropriate for every course, it is still something that should be explored. And, explored with an open mind. There are many different types of games, ranging from very simply “choose your own adventure” sort of games to advanced games in extended reality. Please note that any learning materials should align to learning materials¬†and games can be appropriate forms of learning when used correctly.

Game-Based Learning vs. Gamification

A couple definitions:

  • Game-based learning: designing activities so that the game principles are within the learning activities themselves.
  • Gamification: integration of game elements into conventional learning activities in order to increase engagement and motivation.

Games can be a wonderful way to engage a learner and the opportunities and complexity range from very simple to upper level work. In this chapter, we will discuss different levels of games that can be applied to your courses. To begin, let’s focus on game-based learning and different examples that could be considered for this type of learner engagement.

Game-Based Learning

Simple, game-based learning: Bingo Card

Bingo cards can be used for a variety of courses in a variety of ways. Below is one option that you can use, with additional information provided via the hot spots. Select those to learn more. Bingo cards are a simple and interactive way to check in on student learning and comprehension. They are a great barometer for determining what concepts or ideas are missed in different learning materials. If clues or hints have to be provided, then the learning materials were not clear enough for them to grasp them OR not engaging enough for students use the materials.

There will always be cheating or plagiarism; games are no exception. However, when you ask students to create unique content or provide answers in their own words, you are more likely to receive submissions that are their own work. Consider how you could implement a simple game, like a bingo card, in your courses.

Moderate, game-based learning: Crossword Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way to check in on learning with students. The learning is inherently a game because of the interactive, differentiated format. The crossword below was created for ECO 5033. The vocabulary are from concepts in Week 1 that are important to review and understand before moving on to the subsequent weeks.


Advanced, game-based learning: Assessment in a Branching Scenario

Learning that is inherently a game, potentially, cannot be better defined than with a silly quiz found through social media. But the silly quiz can be adapted to align with learning materials, use learning materials, and provide material for student to reflect and evaluate themselves in different ways. Assessment ideas could include: Interpersonal Communication Types, Conflict Resolution Styles, Leadership Styles, and Feedback Styles, but really the possibilities are endless!



Simple gamification: Sort the Paragraphs

Sort the Paragraphs, is an easy way to add a little interaction and a small amount of gamification into your course. Many courses, ranging from business to math to healthcare have a prescribed “way of doing things”, that can easily implemented into a Sort the Paragraphs H5P. The following Sort the Paragraphs is for the steps of a business plan. How could this be implemented in your course?



Moderate gamification: Scavenger Hunts, Escape Rooms, or Building a Matrix

There are a couple options here that may be valuable for you as you build a moderate form of gamification. Scavenger hunts and escape rooms are engaging ways to essentially hide content from students. They have to use the learning materials to find the answers. Here is a basic version of an escape room built in a Branching Scenario, via H5P. There are countless ways to do this; this is just a quick way to demonstrate the idea.


Advanced gamification: Extended Reality

We will discuss extended reality more thoroughly in the next chapter, but for now, here’s how one instructor used gamification, extended reality, and French vocabulary to build an environment where students review terms in a new way. Select the play button on the lower left to begin interacting with the environment.


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Advanced Engagement by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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