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Play to Learn: Adding the Transformative Benefits of Gamification to Your Courses

Mon Feb 19, 2024 at 07:30 AM

Gamification can be a great way to try something new in your courses while giving the students a completely different learning experience. Through gamified assessments and interactive activities, students can not only gauge their progress instantly but also take ownership of their learning journey. By incorporating elements such as real-time feedback, collaborative opportunities, and personalized learning paths, you can create a dynamic and engaging environment that promotes active participation and skill development. 

Leveraging tools like H5P in Moodle enables instructors to choose from a wide range of options to tailor the experience to suit specific learning objectives. These activities can be embedded elements easily and directly into your course. If you are interested in implementing gamification in your classes, don't hesitate to reach out to an instructional designer for additional support and guidance by either emailing [email protected] or scheduling an appointment with an instructional designer.

Enhancing the Learning Experience with Gamification  

If you are unsure where to start when it comes to gamification, start by having a conversation with your students to discover which video games or even board games they like. From there, you can consider which H5P activity in Moodle or external game you can modify to meet your course needs. After you choose a game, state the learning objectives and communicate these goals and expectations to students. 

With the suggestions listed below, you can harness the power of gamification to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment for students. Using H5P activities in Moodle gives you several choices to embed gamification elements directly in your course. With H5P instructors have the option to create crossword puzzles, branching scenarios, memory games, and much more. 

Add Rewards/Recognition and Enable Tracking Progress

Consider specific milestones that align with your curriculum or module and add game-like features such as points, badges, and leaderboards. Enabling students to track their progress using data and analytics within Moodle can help you and your students access their performance data and identify areas of improvement. Instructors can use a page in Moodle or a Google doc to post a leaderboard with points. If you plan on posting a leaderboard, you can give students a nickname or screen name like in a video game to keep things anonymous. 

Create Personalized Learning Paths

Creating opportunities for students to facilitate their own learning connected to their own interests can introduce storytelling elements that create a narrative around the learning content. You can develop scenarios or case studies that immerse students in real-world applications. Integrating multimedia elements, such as videos, simulations, or virtual reality, can also enhance engagement.

A great option for a personalized learning path is through an H5P activity called a branching scenario. The branching scenario serves almost as a choose-your-own adventure game where students will choose an answer and based on their answer, they encounter a specific path; if they choose a different answer, they encounter other content. Here is an example of a branching scenario with H5P.

Employ Gamified Assessments

To design assessments with automated feedback, you can use interactive quizzes, puzzles, or simulations for real-time evaluation. Automated feedback is great for faculty and students because it saves faculty time and gives students immediate feedback on their performance and progress. H5P and Moodle quizzes are both great options for automated feedback.


Introduction to the Use of Gamification in Higher Education from the University of Chicago

Gamification and Game-Based Learning from the University of Waterloo

Related Teaching Tips 

Why you might want to roll the dice and consider adding game-based learning to your course

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About the Author

Chad Bousley is an Instructional Designer at e-LIS, who helps faculty with online course design, creating interactive activities and implementing online teaching best practices. Outside of the classroom, Chad enjoys learning foreign languages and playing guitar.

Edited by Rachel Smydra, Faculty Fellow in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Image by Matthias Groenveld. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC.

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