Week 2: What is gamification and why does it matter?

According to Hall (2013), “Gamification is defined as the application of typical elements of game playing (rules of play, point scoring, competition with others) to other areas of activity, specifically to engage users in problem solving” (Hall, 2014).

It matters because it allows students to be engaged problem solvers. Many people love to play games. I grew up playing card and board games. I played some video games, but we didn’t have video games when I was growing up. It was fun to go to my friend’s house and play her Atari and later the Nintendo. We didn’t get a Nintendo until I was a teenager.

I have to admit that I do not know a lot about gamification. I do think that one of the most important things that I read this week is that “The problem with most attempts at gaming in education is that educators mistakenly think that if you give out a badge or slap points on it, you’ve gamified. This is wrong” (Davis, 2014). I am very competitive so I was really surprised about this. However, it makes sense. I think about some of the app games I have played. They have all been about getting through levels and solving a problem. Usually the games I liked the most were ones where I could “team up” with my niece and nephew. It was fun to build something together.

Personally, I think gamification is important because it is engaging and I want my students to want to learn. I want it to be exciting and fun. Chou (2013) wrote, “Clearly there should be a way to help kids learn from what they do best – play. This is why many educators are looking into a variety of new tools and techniques in Education Gamification. No longer viewed as a mundane process for presenting information while testing for retention and understanding, the modern educational challenge involves tasks of engaging students, stimulating their interests, retaining their attention, and maintaining a positive attitude in a nurturing environment” (Chou, 2013).

In addition, I want my students to use higher order thinking to solve problems. I want them to analyze, collaborate, design, invent, construct, and build. I work to incorporate higher order thinking into my class daily. I believe that gamification brings both engagement and higher order thinking together for students, which makes it very important.


Chou, Y.-K. (2013, April 25). 47 thoughts on “Gamification in Education: Top 10 Gamification Case Studies that will Change our Future”. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from Yu-kai Chou: Gamification & Behavioral Design: http://yukaichou.com/gamification-examples/top-10-education-gamification-examples/#.UuoIvfldWSo

Davis, V. (2014, March 20). Gamification in Education. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/gamification-in-education-vicki-davis

Hall, M. (2014, May 13). What is Gamification and Why Use It in Teaching? Retrieved September 17, 2016, from Johns Hopkins University – The Innovative Instructor Blog: http://ii.library.jhu.edu/2014/05/13/what-is-gamification-and-why-use-it-in-teaching/


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