Gamification is the process for creating engaging learning environments by introducing game elements: permission to fail, out-of-box thinking and fostering a sense of control, on top of traditional learning environments will create a rich learning experience that is impactful in improving learning (Kapp, 2012). One example of gamification that teachers can use within education is introducing house points or merits when a child or group has done something well. This positively reinforces good behaviour and achievement to the students. According to Skinner, reapplying the positive reinforcement will more than likely increase the repetition of this behaviour in the future as the students become more motivated to receive points (Prince, 2013).

There are three main principles of Gamification:

  • Achievement: students can see their progress with this through design elements like high score tables, a ranking system or a digital badge. Being able to view this themselves help them to work harder in order to beat their score.
  • Competition: there should be an element of this either to compete against themselves, or a computer opponent. Competition shows students that failing is not all bad, as it allows them to learn due to the next time they can use this to improve their actions/work through developing what they did wrong the first time.
  • Fun: all games are usually fun therefore is something is gamified then there should be an element of fun. A game should always challenge the users to stretch their abilities to keep them motivated whilst keeping it fun at the same time. If they are challenged more users will find the game particularly to fun and enjoy playing it.

Why not watch this video to get a better idea of gamification?


Impact on education?

  • Gamification in education can improve motivation and engagement as elements such as immediate feedback and earning badges for completing the tasks successfully are strongly influential on increasing the students’ drive in engaging in these games even within the walls of a classroom
  • Gamification modifies the brain’s reward and pleasure centre. ‘A person who wins or receives positive feedback, can activate the brain’s pleasure circuits by inducing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine’. The pleasure that students will gain through this results in a long-lasting affinity for the specific academic subject or solving complex problems.
  • Gamification in education may optimise the brain’s processing of new information. This can be through the general aspects of gamified lessons: audio-visual presentation, minimised bites of subject information, short time lapses, and often repetitive patterns.

(Lynch, 2017, online)

Reference List:

Kapp, K, M. (2012) The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Lynch, M. (2017) The Edvocate: HOW DOES GAMIFICATION AFFECT THE LEARNING PROCESS?. [Online] Available at: %5BAccessed 03 04 2018].

Prince, K. (2013).The Difference between Postive/Negative Reinforcement and Positive/Negative Punishment. Available at: [Accessed 31 03 2018].



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