Gamification in Education

Gamification in Education.

Gamification in Education

Post the 2 sources you have found regarding gamification and education. ***Remember there are no duplicates allowed*** If someone has already posted one of your sources you must find another one.

In addition to posting these sources, explain:

1) Why are these good resources?

2) How have they expanded your understanding of gamification?

3) Do you believe that gamification can be an effective teaching tool? Why or why not?

Reading and video




  1. There are many sources that look at gamification in education. I found two that I think would be useful to look at.

The first one is “Gamification in Education” from the website “Learning Theories”.

The article first gives a good overview of what the terms mean, the history behind the concept, and the people that are involved in developing it. The article then looks at how gamification has helped to motivate learners in that it gives them a narrative to follow, it gives them immediate feedback, it is fun, has “scaffolding learning”, and progress indicators. Furthermore, with online gaming or social media, gamification allows for social connections between people. Lastly, the article looks at how to apply gamification and gives examples. At the end of the article, there are links to other resources.

The second source is the article, “Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother?” by Joey J. Lee and Jessica Hammer.

It looks at the importance of gamification in education and also looks at the benefits and pitfalls. They argue that video games and virtual worlds engage students in ways that badges and rewards cannot (page 2). Video games also give students a lot of emotional stimulation that ranges from curiosity to joy, and sometimes frustration (page 3). However, there are pitfalls to gamification, such as that it absorbs teacher resources and that it leads to students only doing things because of the external rewards, and not for its intrinsic value.

These are both good resources because they give a lot of information on gamification and they provide both the good points and the drawbacks. Furthermore, they both offer links to other resources. I wanted to have one resource that was practical that people could read and get ideas from and at the same time another one that was more theoretical, so people could look at the major ideas behind the concepts. These resources have expanded my understanding of gamification in that they have given me a broad overview of the concept and have given examples of how it works. For example, the first resource looked at the course Q2L (Quest to Learn), which is a course in grade 6 for a school in New York, in which the whole thing is gamified. At the same time, the second resource describes that negative aspect of gamification of education, so both resources are not just pushing for the concept. By looking at both sides of the issue, I am able to decide what level of gamification I would want to pursue in my classes or in my lessons. Lastly, after looking through many resources I think gamification can be an effective teaching tool but it should just be a tool and not an end in itself. As mentioned in the Lee and Hammer article, students might just go for external rewards and forget about the intrinsic value of learning if they just play games. It is also difficult to get feedback from students and to truly gauge learning when they are doing things through a game.

  1. Jeopardy Review Game

Jeopardy is an excellent way to review material before a quiz or unit test or to simply test students understanding of the material. Using this site you can create your own Jeopardy game questions and answers and attach different values depending on the difficulty of the question. Students can be put into teams for this game. This game creates a lot of energy in the classroom and gets students excited to participate. This site can be used for students of any age.


ABCYA is a great resource that all of the schools I have been in have used for primary level reading. It is a fun and engaging program to get kids into practicing reading while they believe they are playing games. Kids put their head phones on and work away on their laptop for extended periods of time due to the engagement of this site. This site allows kids to work at the level that best suits them after taking an ability testing quiz at the beginning.

1) These are both excellent resources because they are fun and engaging and draw students into being an active participant. In my classes students are always excited when we are using either of these resources. Both resources are fabricated to students abilities, therefore they are not struggling because the material is so high above them or bored because it is too easy, which means everyone is actually learning. They both relate to the McGrath article in the sense that they are not just “sugar coated” resources that are shallow and do not actually require any thought or understanding, but instead they challenge kids to use their brains.

2) This module has expanded my understanding of gamification in a variety of ways. I was really interested in Gabe Zichermann’s video, I found it really neat what he was saying about ADD students who can really focus on video games. This got me thinking about students in my class who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, when we are doing ABCYA they are so focused and zoned in. This new knowledge of gamification has really allowed me to see it’s value in engaging students.

3) I absolutely believe that gamification is an effective teaching tool. In my practicum class the students did a half hour of ABCYA every other day, and it was always completely silent. Student’s become engaged in the game and channel all of their focus into it which is ultimately increasing their reading skills. Whereas, if we were to sit in the classroom and do worksheets on vowel sounds, letter combinations and reading, I would have a very hard time getting the majority of students to focus. This is just one example of how gamification can be used as an effective teaching tool.


  1. Reading Eggs

Reading eggs is a great program that promotes reading and phonics skills for younger students. This program is great because it allows students to work at their own level. Students are given an assessment to begin, and the program works around their abilities. Students are able to play different games, complete lessons, and read books to gain ‘eggs’ which they can use to unlock different levels. This game is designed for ages 2 – 13. I use it in my grade 1/2 class and it is very popular. Students love the choice they have and are always fully engaged.


  1. Spelling City

Spelling city is a game that allows students to practice their spelling words, learn new vocabulary, work on phonics, and complete writing activities. This game is good for grades k – 12 and has over 40 interactive games. As a teacher, you can add your own spelling list and keep track of the students scores and progress. This program allows for variety in spelling and vocabulary practice keeping the students engaged in their learning. The games that are offered are interactive and students are rewarded with stars when they complete something correctly.

These are good resources because they are engaging for students. Students are required to solve problems in order to gain stars and eggs which motivates them to continue learning. Learners are each on their own continuum of learning and are all at different places. Programs like reading eggs allow learners to work on skills they are ready for. It take into account their abilities and produces activities that are just right for the learners. This differentiation for students is important in keeping students engaged and happy. Another reasons these resources are great is because they are fun! Students are learning without even realizing it. They are collaborating with each other, problem solving, and working hard all while having fun and laughing!

These sources have expanded my understanding ofd gamification by allowing me to make a connection between video games and educational games. I now know that these games are an important part of students educational experience.

Yes! Gamification is an effective teaching tool. Games engages students, allow them to work at their own level, challenge them, allow them to collaborate, promote creative thinking and problem solving, and most of all, they are fun for students! I am looking forward to getting a big list of games from this forum post that I can use in the future!

Here is a blog about how to incorporate gamification into the classroom:

Reading Eggs –

Spelling City –


  1. Resource #1


I choose GoNoodle as my first gamification resources because it engages students in active brain breaks in the classroom. GoNoodle is a variety of interactive videos designed around learning different movements and mindfulness. There are different categories that you can choose from based on what you are doing in the classroom, curricular which includes all subject areas. Other categories are mindfulness, sensory and motor skills, school like and movement types. At the end of each video students get points towards unlocking more videos and levels. I use GoNoodle daily in my classroom to give my students a quick brain break and to move around. All my students love the movement break and collecting points by completing the videos and watch the guy grow.

Resource #2


ClassDoJo is a classroom communication app that teachers can use to manage their classroom. ClassDojo, has many great features, group maker, think pair share, directions and many more. This app can also allow teachers to communicate easily with parents. In addition to these great classroom features, ClassDojo is also a form of gamification. Within the group maker feature, students can recieve points for a variety of reasons. Teachers can award groups points for staying on task, being involved, working together and many more. These points get students Dojo dollars, these dollars can be used in the store towards different activities the teacher chooses, such as, more time in centre, extra gym or outside time. Having the point system and the app tracking these points is a great way for students to monitor their own behaviour. The Dojo dollars are motivating for students to receive an award for their behaviour, participation and kindness in the classroom.

Both of my resources have expanded my knowledge of gamification because I understand how games can be incorporated effectively in the classroom without them being sitting, ignoring your surroundings ‘video games’. GoNoodle is a game that promotes physical and mental health for students, the game part of GoNoodle promotes students participation. ClassDojo’s point system encourages students to work effectively in the classroom to earn points. Although both of my resources are very different they both incorporate the ‘game’ aspect that engages students in the desired outcomes of teachers.

Before reading this weeks reading I never heard the term gamification before. After reading the articles and listening to the TED talk I now understand the meaning of gamification. As a child I never grew up with playing videos or understood the excitement around them. As an adult I still do not fully support videos games. However, after reading and learning about gamification I definitely understand the importance of ‘gaming’ in the classroom and believe it is an effective teaching tool. In order for games to be an effective learning tool in the classroom they have to be, “motivating, addictive, and provide encouragement through very short-term goals, so that the player can fail and try again until they succeed (Lister). I use games in my classroom to motivate students and engage them in their learning. Our society is moving towards technology so I believe it is important to incorporate it in student learning rather than trying to avoid it. In addition to using games as an extrinsic reward, students also learn different skills from playing games, problem solving, being patient and activates prior knowledge.

GoNoodle – 

ClassDojo –

Lister –

  1.– Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP)

My first resource is the website of the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) at MIT. This website, which also goes by the name ‘education arcade’, is focused on teachers and their education/professional development but also has an extensive section all about Games for Learning. STEP publishes research on all aspects of games for learning including game design and how best to use games in the classroom. Before any game is built STEP researches current understanding of the learning challenges particular to that curriculum area. They have an extensive gallery of past and present games with links to research associated with each game. Two of STEP’s team members (Eric Klopfer and Scot Osterweil) were instructors on a Learning Game course at edX (unfortunately it was last offered in 2016 and has no future dates showing). Klopfer has authored numerous publications on games for learning – here are his Google citations.

This is a good resource because it takes an academic and rigorous approach to the use of games in education but it is also clear that the team loves games, the art of making them and their potential for improving learning. I skimmed the first few pages of ‘Moving Learning Games Forward: obstacles, opportunities and openness’ and was impressed with how it managed to be both comprehensive and readable. It has expanded my understanding of gamification by showing me what is possible – admittedly with quite a considerable investment in time and money – when games are ‘done right’. It has also reassured me that there are ‘rational’ players in the gamification movement that will bring a scientific and rigorous approach to evaluating games for learning that are used in the classroom.– Classcraft

The second resource I’ve chosen is a company called Classcraft. Classcraft was founded in 2013 and seems to be a family company (or else it is just a weird coincidence that the three co-founders all have the same last name and look alike). Shawn Young, the CEO, was a Grade 11 teacher at a high school in Sherbrooke, Quebec who was also a web developer. He created Classcraft in 2011 and had the website live on Reddit where it garnered heavy traffic (1). The company has offices in Sherbrooke and Montreal, Quebec and New York city.

What makes Classcraft a bit different is that the original product – the Classcraft role-playing game – was not really about learning as such but more about improving classroom management by encouraging good behaviours and discouraging bad ones. Students choose their role in the game – mage, warrior or healer – and the GameMaster (the teacher) awards or subtracts points depending on the student’s behaviour. The GameMaster can manage this from a computer or their smart phone via an app and it is not necessary that the students have devices. Classcraft also encourages collaboration by rewarding pro-social behaviours like helping other students or cleaning the classroom with game points. When points are taken away for unwanted behaviours other members of the student’s team may offer some of their points to help their team member. Certain bad or good behaviours may result – at the teacher’s discretion – to awarding/subtracting points for a whole team or the entire class.

Classcraft’s more recent offering is ‘Quests’. Quests allow teachers to “turn their lesson plans into personalized, self-paced learning adventures for students to embark upon in the game. Your entire curriculum can take the form of an interactive map — each point representing an activity or resource that must be completed to go further” (2, p. 1). If a teacher signs up for a Classcraft premium membership ($8 US per month when billed annually or $12 US per month on a monthly basis) they will be able to create their own Quests as well as download and use Quests created and shared by other teachers.

I think this is a good resource because it shows what is actually going on out there in the world of gamification for education and I also think it is great to find a Canadian company in the gamification space. In addition. Classcraft is a Premier Partner in Google for Education, they are EU compliant with privacy and their Research page has links to lots of research articles on their products and on gamification in general – they seem to be a solid and reputable company. This resource has increased my understanding of how gamification can be used not only for learning but also as a tool to make classroom management easier for teachers.

When I first began looking for resources I was not convinced that gamification could be an effective teaching tool and found myself questioning whether the money and time spent on ‘gamifying’ a course or even a single lesson was worth it and wouldn’t be better spent somewhere else. But after coming across Classcraft I think that gamification does have potential – not just for learning but perhaps more importantly for managing behaviour in a way that makes more sense to students raised on video games and is also easier for teachers. With the introduction of the ‘Quests’ features and the ability of teachers to create and share ‘Quests’ gamification has been democratized and made accessible to those ‘on the ground’ in the classroom. I am sure that the obvious next step is that students will be given the ability to create and share their own Quests and perhaps even play them in groups among themselves as they do with more well-known games like Minecraft.


  1. Scratch-
    I think scratch is a good resource because kids love the “video game” aspect of it. Students can either play educational games made for them by other kids or other people, as well as create their own video games. Scratch corresponds with the new Curriculum, especially the Applied Design, Skills, and Technology, like coding. It is centered around exploring, creating, and programming. You can create interactive stories, games, as well as animations. I have used this as a summative assessment piece where my intermediate students created a multi-question animation before. Students have autonomy over their learning by choosing sprites, backgrounds, language, and questions for their learner. There are many tutorial videos and programs that can be accessed for free for students to take their learning even further. Scratch can be easily adapted for all levels.

Minecraft- Education edition
1. The number one reason why I believe this is such a good source is because kids are so engaged and motivated by this game right now! It has been big for a while, but I am noticing the obsession especially with my grade 3’s right now. Students love the game, they are always on devices, and their spare time is spent playing Minecraft. It is available on tablets, iPads, and gaming systems.

If you’re going to teach students specific skills and competencies, you need to engage them with something they’re interested in. What better way to motivate them than incorporating one of their favorite games already into the learning that happens at school?

Minecraft education has many different class resources and challenges and activities that relate right to the new BC Curriculum. It helps teach children those skills that they need for real life like collaboration, communication, critical thinking and systems thinking.

Using these resources expanded my understanding of gamification because it really helped me make learning activities and learning for students accessible in a fun and interactive way that connects with their real world. It reminds me that we need to try, and have a growth mindset about these new resources and continue to collaborate with colleagues and our PLNs to help us through these learning experiences.

I do believe that gamification can be effective because you can really get to know your students, and their love for video games and digital visualization to life in their classrooms. Using gamification ables you to create interactive lessons that students can connect to and learn in a fun way. With that being said, it is important that being educators, it is our job to keep up with the newest technologies, like the article by Naomi Mcgrath, posted by Claire. In today’s society the digital and technology age is growing so fast and in order to keep up with our learners interests and needs, and need to keep up to date with newest technologies. As well as learning how to use and interact with the technologies. Sometimes it can be intimidating and then we could become scared away from certain tech resources altogether, however this will put us and our learners in a poor place.

  1. Resource 1 Kahoot

I chose Kahoot as my first resource as it is a fun and interactive way to incorporate games into learning. I like this resource because it is super easy for teachers and students to use and can be used for any subject. It can be used as a formative assessment tool to determine how well the class is doing with the concept and what they might need extra practice with. This can be useful information for teachers to plan for future lessons. It could also be used to practice concepts and prepare for summative assessments. The fast-paced aspect of the game and the excitement of earning points is very appealing to learners of different ages. It can be a motivator for students to learn as they will want to earn points and make it onto the leader board. Students enjoy the competitive nature of Kahoot and because it does not show who specifically got the answer wrong it will minimize students feeling embarrassed for getting a wrong answer.

Resource 2

This resource is a blog ran by a teacher that focuses on Gamification in Education as well as other technology. I think this is a good resource for educators to use to get ideas of how to implement gamification into their own classrooms.  The teacher has several different aspects to his website. He has blogs, articles, videos a gamification guide that can be downloaded for free, and a list of other useful tech and gamification resources.  His blog has lots of different posts where he explains different ways he integrates the components of games with learning content. One of the posts that stood out me was having students create games for each other to play as an assessment. Another post that caught my attention is a blog post about how playing games in the classroom is not like playing games at home and students need to be taught how to play learning games appropriately. He has posts on many different topics with detailed explanations and tips for teachers. This is a good resource to get advice and ideas on how to implement different games such as Minecraft into your classroom.

I think that gamification can be overwhelming for many teachers (including myself) that are not overly comfortable with video game elements. After looking closely at these resources I can see how games don’t have to be video games to be effective and enjoyable to students. Using Kahoot makes it possible to include the game aspect in a simple yet effective way. It can be quick, so it doesn’t take up much time, can be used for any subject and a variety of grades and is easy for teachers to use. Learning more about Kahoot helped me understand that gamification doesn’t have to be a huge elaborate gaming system. It can incorporate some of the aspects of games (rules, feedback systems, goals) with curriculum to help students enjoy learning (flow) in simple, quick but meaningful ways. The techedupteacher blog also furthered my understanding of gamification by explaining many different topics with picture examples. One question that I was curious about is how it can be managed without a lot of technology and skills. This blog gave some suggestions such as having the students teach you how to play the games and having students bring their own devices in to school. In addition, the blog discusses using low tech or no tech games in the classroom even board games and group games to learn content.

I definitely think that gamification can support learning. Students will be more willing to learn when they are engaged and excited about learning. Using games makes it fun and gives clear goals, rules and feedback which helps keep students focused on learning.  When students are interested in the topic and have emotional investment in the game or activity they will be more engaged in the learning. I do think that gamification should be used appropriately and in moderation and used well to be effective. Video game type games allow students to explore content through discovery which is a great way for students to learn and use trial and error to succeed. The teacher on the blog recommended using the games as culminating activities at the end of a unit and as assessments. They shouldn’t be used as the only form of learning as students should have choices as well as show their learning in a variety of different forms. I would also be cautious about to much emphasis on leader boards and winning as it may over power the actual learning. While I have learned a lot in the module about incorporating games in education I still feel like I have a lot to learn and figure out before I will be comfortable enough to implement in my own teaching.


  1. 1. Prodigy Math:

1) Prodigy math is the best example of gamification in education that I have come in contact with. This free resource (there is a paid option if you want more options and to better the experience) allows students of all grades to make their way through a “Pokemon-like” battling world, where spells are cast through the process of answering math questions. The math questions are based on the teacher and what assignments and content that he/she assigns the students. There are objectives, different worlds, additional tasks, rewards and a leveling system. Students can play against each other and meet up in the worlds to collaborate, all while completing their required math assessments. All the questions are documented on the teacher dashboard and can be viewed in a variety of different formats for evaluation purposes. I have had my grade 1 class using Prodigy since the beginning of the year, and every single one of them are still invested, focused and excited when it is prodigy time.
One downside that I have noticed about prodigy is that the leveling system does effect student self-esteem, in that when one student sees a peer on a higher level then them they do vocalize it. In addition the leveling is a little skewed, because it is due more to how much you play than how many questions you get right. Being as students can play at home (and should) those students who have access to internet and have parent support to play at home have a much higher level than the students who do not for whatever reason.

2) How have they expanded your understanding of gamification?
This site clarifies what works to get the students excited in gamification (rewards, purchasing stuff for their avatar, mini-games, collaboration), and what needs more work to be a fully functioning educational tool (reliable leveling system, more integrated math questions, less differentiated game vs. math question experience).
What I mean by more integrated math questions, and a less differentiated game vs. math question experience, is that prodigy has a clear divid between the fun, busy, exciting “game” portion of the resource, and the “math” portion of the resource. Because of this, some students rush through the math portion, with little to no effort to be able to go back to the game section quicker. If Prodigy works to better integrate the math into the game, this resource would be a absolute must in any elementary classroom.


  1. Making Math the Best Part of the Day, By Rylee Eng:

1) I have linked a paper I wrote on a new educational design that links story-telling, drama, problem-solving, and gamification to primary mathematics. If you take a look through the bibliography you will be able to find the useful resources that I used to better understand and develop a gamified unit that includes no electronics. I have been using this method with my students for the past 5 months and it is the most engaged I have ever seen a grade one class when it comes to mathematics.

2) How have they expanded your understanding of gamification?
If you take a look at the bibilography cited you will see a variety of different sources that all help the understanding of what elements and strategies educators are taking from games to design a gamified educational experience. I have attached one of my favorite articles from Kingsley and Grabner-Hagen outlining the elements that I have touched on in my paper.

3) Do you believe that gamification can be an effective teaching tool?
I absolutely think that gamification can be an effective tool. To ignore the “flow” that people experience when playing video games would be a loss of opportunity for those educators who seek that same focus and intensity when comes to learning in a classroom setting. It is just very difficult to understand how to best gamify elements of the classroom and include enough (but not too much) of the elements to enforce said skills. I love gamification, I do not love how hard it is to implement and defend.


Gamification in Education

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