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Play as You Learn: Gamification as a Technique for Motivating Learners
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Play as You Learn: Gamification as a Technique for Motivating Learners


Presentation for award-winning paper at Edmedia 2013 (Freely downloadable from It provides an overview of the principles of gamification and motivation and contains …

Presentation for award-winning paper at Edmedia 2013 (Freely downloadable from It provides an overview of the principles of gamification and motivation and contains suggestions on things to consider when gamifying education.

Published in Education , Health & Medicine
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  • 1. Play As You Learn Gamification as a Technique for Motivating Learners Dr. Ian Glover Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • 2. Gamification • Using game-design concepts in domains – Typically, but not exclusively, from computer games • Distinct from Game-Based Learning and Serious Games – Gamification adds an extra layer over existing activities – GBL and SG uses games as the learning medium
  • 3. Motivation • Intrinsic – Personal – Strong • Extrinsic – External – Weak (usually) • Mixed motivations common – e.g. interested in the topic, but also want to gain recognition from peers.
  • 4. Key Game Concepts • Goal-focused activity • Reward mechanism(s) • Progress tracking
  • 5. Goal-focused Activity • Working towards clearly defined targets • Large goals should be broken down into sub- tasks • Each sub-task should progress towards the overall goal
  • 6. Reward Mechanism(s) • Different mechanisms appeal to different people: – Peer recognition – Awards – Benefits / Prizes • Unappealing rewards have little motivational effect • Possibly allow learners to choose rewards
  • 7. Progress Tracking • Progress within overall goal, and any sub- tasks, should be readily available • Progress can be shown relative to peers – e.g. Leaderboards • Progress tracking is not a substitute for assessment
  • 8. Existing Uses of Gamification Education Uses • Open Study • ClassDojo • Open Badges • Webmaker Business Uses • Passport to Professional Skills • Online Travel Training • 'Gold stars' Other Uses • Academic Experts • Chore Wars • Crowdrise • my1login • RedCritter Tracker • Badgeville • FourSquare • DevHub
  • 9. Quick Exercise How would you Gamify Edmedia? • What would be the goal? • What would you encourage/discourage? • What rewards would you give? • How would you track activity?
  • 10. • Over-justification effect – Extrinsic motivation can have negative effect on intrinsically motivated learners (Groh, 2012) • Only creates illusion of activity being rewarding (Teti, 2012) • Encourages addicted/compulsive behaviour? (Zichermann, 2011) • 'Rankings' may discourage some people (Williams, 2012) Criticism of Gamification
  • 11. • Is motivation a problem? • Are there behaviours to encourage/discourage? • Does the activity lend itself to game concepts? • Would this create a parallel assessment route? • Would some learners be favoured over others? • What rewards would work best? • Are rewards too easy to obtain? • Will it encourage learners to spend too long on particular activities? To Gamify or Not?
  • 12. • e-Learning systems routinely capture data useful for gamification – Link Classroom Clickers to leaderboards – Publicly rank learners according to grade – Adaptively release new materials and activities upon mastery • Encourage cooperative/collaborative learning – Reward contribution to forums, wikis, etc. – Issue badges for achievement • More ideas: introduce-gaming-concepts-into-elearning Gamifying e-Learning
  • 13. Gamification + is a recent term for an established idea + can be a useful motivational tool + is particularly suited to behavioural reinforcement + lends itself well to e-Learning – isn't for every situation – may have negative effects – needs careful planning
  • 14. Questions? Dr. Ian Glover Sheffield Hallam University, UK Claim a Reward for Attending Or use code: VCVAWP at
  • 15. • Groh, F. (2012). Gamification: State of the Art Definition and Utilization. In Proceedings of the 4th seminar on Research Trends in Media Informatics, 39-46. • Teti, J. (2012). Rev. of Assassin’s Creed III. The Gameological Society. • Williams, J. (2012). The Gamification Brain Trust: Intrinsically Motivating People to Change Behavior (part 2). Gamesbeat. • Zichermann, G. (2011). Gamification has issues, but they aren’t the ones everyone focuses on. [Editorial] O’Reilly Radar. References