What is Gameful Learning?

The term ‘gamification’ has become one of the hottest buzzwords of the current decade. It has been claimed that gamification can be applied to everything from shopping, exercising, and doing chores to training and business, and that it will increase engagement, motivation, and make things fun.

Is there something to it?

How much of what we hear is just hype?

Can classrooms be gamified?

If so, HOW?

Gameful Learning takes the concept of gamification into the classroom, and connects it with genuine learning. It can facilitate equity and a sense of agency for all learners.

While the term of gamification is new, the underlying concepts for both reward-based and meaningful gamification are not, and have been practiced in the classroom for a long time. In fact, teachers have been using game-based elements for the real world application of teaching content for decades; we just haven’t been calling it gamification.

Gameful Learning sorts through some of the current ‘gamification’ hype and combines some of the best ideas from game design with sound teaching and learning principals to form a coherent approach that can be implemented in any classroom - whether it is a grade 1 class, a high school biology class, a trade school course, or a graduate level university class, professional development, and anything in between.

At its heart, gamification is about taking elements from games and applying them to non-game settings. Practical Gamification connects the dots between instructional approaches and strategies that are grounded in solid theory and those elements of gamification that can be implemented in any classroom to help create a more learner-centered classroom that embodies 21st century learning principles. It provides practical, step-by-step strategies that any teacher can employ without having to completely re-design their classroom, although, once you get the hang of it, you may want to.

These books are focused specifically on formal education both online and in person, and provides strategies that can be used on a small scale in a single lesson or on a large-scale with an entire program. Your students don’t need to be avid gamers, and neither do you as the teacher. In fact, your students don’t need to know anything about games at all, and you can learn all you need about games from the practical gamification approach to help you make your classes more engaging and your students more invested in their own learning.