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The Best Posts On “Gamification” In Education — Help Me Find More


'Gamification Sartre Way' photo (c) 2012, Playing Futures:  Applied Nomadology - license:

“Gamification” is the use of design techniques from games in other areas, like education.

This is just a very short beginning list, and I hope that readers will contribute more. I’ll start with three posts from this blog, and then add others:

The Dangers Of “Gamification” In Education

Kathy Sierra On Gamification In Education

Amazing Conversations About Gamification In Education

Can Incentives Make Students Secretly Hate Us? is by Justin Reich at Education Week.

5 Myths Of Game-based Learning is from Kris Wheaton. Thanks to Paul Bruno for the tip.

More than a just digital star chart for learners is by Graham Stanley.

Games: More than Just Reward Systems is from Justin Reich at Education Week.

Gamification: does it make business more fun, or is it just exploitationware? is from The New Statesman.

Inside News Corp’s $540 Million Bet on American Classrooms is a somewhat interesting article/commentary on a NY Times piece about Amplify tablets in education. It doesn’t really go over any new ground, however. But I did find one small snippet on “gamification” very intriguing:

Douglas Clark is an associate professor at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, arguably the country’s top college of education, and the principle investigator on the SURGE and EGAME grants, two National Science Foundation grants aimed at studying and creating educational games. And nothing irks him more than when other people take educational concepts and run them through “gamification,” a practice whereby one “just adds points” to basic tasks.

Points are extrinsic motivations, and “when [kids] get bored with extrinsic, they stop.” Games should provide intrinsic motivation, meaning the game itself is the motivator.

He compares points to frequent-flyer miles: something auxiliary (i.e., you get FF miles from flying, but you don’t probably don’t go flying around the country just to rack up FF miles). Most “educational” games take a task, like math, and add a point system.

Haimson calls games that actually cause learning the “holy grail,” but Clark doesn’t think it’s easily accomplished. He says, “News Corp. can’t just decide we’re going to build good games for everything. That’d be too expensive.”

Gaming Glossary: Game-based Learning v. Gamification is from ELT Sandbox.

Gaming in Education: Gamification? is from The Edublogger.

Gamification harnesses the power of games to motivate is from The Conversation.

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Hi, I’m Sam and I’ve recently set up the uk-based gamification community I’ve justed published an interesting guest article about gamification in education that you might be interested in including here. Here’s the link:

    Education and Training: From Game-Based Learning to Gamification

    All the best!

  2. Hello,

    You might be interested in my blog post about educational games compared to “gamification”:

    Thanks for putting together this list! This is definitely a hot topic right now.

  3. Hi Larry,
    I’ve clipped 41 web pages with articles about gamification in education here that you might find useful. Yours is one of them. You would need to go through them and check whether any duplicate what you have listed already.
    The link is:
    Best wishes, Greg. (

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