#OLCAccelerate – Press Start To Play: Faculty And Student Reflections On Gamification

Press Start To Play: Faculty And Student Reflections On Gamification
Lead Presenter: Thomas Penniston (University of Maryland – Baltimore County)
Co-presenter: Sherri N Braxton-Lieber (University of Maryland-Baltimore County)
Strand: Innovations, Tools and Technologies
Brief Abstract: This session will provide an overview of gamification and its relationship with learners’ motivations. The details of the implementation in a graduate-level course will be presented along with student performance and course satisfaction data. Faculty reflections, lessons learned, and plans for revision for the next course offering will be discussed.

Gam·i·fi·ca·tion – “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”

  • In educational context:“On its surface, gamification is simply the use of game mechanics to make learning and instruction more fun. It seems “fake” artificial or like a shortcut. It’s not. Underneath the surface is the idea of engagement, story, autonomy, and meaning.”
  • Video overview of the elements of “Gamification”:



  • Use Achievements Tool in Blackboard to award badges that demonstrate:
    • Skill mastery
    • Learning milestones
    • Performance excellence
  • Quests
    • Find problem with multiple entry points, define learning goals, link goals to COR, build space for assessment, design quest
  • Leaderboards
    • Provides quick feedback, ranking, competition, motivation

Strategies to Gamify a Course

  • Add points to tasks/assignments
  • Define badges/achievements/rewards that can be earned after criteria are met
  • Create leaderboard that shows top performers/scores
  • Define levels ranging from easier to harder tasks/assignments
  • Reward badges that can be tied to higher levels

Examples of course achievements in Blackboard and in course content delivered to students:



Case Study Survey Results from Students in Course


Level of engagement in Blackboard by Students in Gameful Learning Course


Demonstration of using Blackboard Achievements to gamify an Engineering Course



One thought on “#OLCAccelerate – Press Start To Play: Faculty And Student Reflections On Gamification

  1. Pingback: Highlights from @GVSUeLearn and the Online Learning Consortium Conference #OLCAccelerate | eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

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