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Level Up Engagement with Gamification

We already live in a gamified world. Peloton, Starbucks, Fitbit, Apple Watch, Khan Academy, Uber, and Venmo are examples -- apps that apply game mechanics to non-game activities, like digital badges, leaderboards, progress bars, and the ability to level up.  Gamification in education is all around us too, from Duolingo to Khan Academy  -- and yes, Canvas too!

In this learning community, we’ll explore meaningful gamification, a term coined by game design professor Scott Nicholson as, “the use of gameful and playful layers to help a user find personal connections that motivate engagement with a specific context for long-term change.” Meaningful gamification supports autonomy, when students feel agency, control of their own learning. It also should promote a social connection with others, while engendering learner’s with feelings of competence. Examples include turning lessons into quests, where students embark on a learning journey driven by choice and voice. By participating in the learning community you will explore gamified learning and develop content that is playful and game-like.

The facilitator, Dr. Matthew Farber, has written several books and articles on gamification and game-based learning and speaks nationally and internationally on this topic. Each participant will receive a copy of his recent book Gaming SEL: Games as Transformational to Social and Emotional Learning. In this community, we will explore gamified learning and develop content that is playful and game-like.

Learning Outcomes

By participating in the Level Up LC, you will:

  • Examine extrinsic and intrinsic approaches to boosting student motivation and engagement
  • Experience meaningful gamification
  • Explore how game structures can promote playful learning
  • Explore multiplayer classrooms and gamified learning management systems
  • Design gamified lessons and gameful assessment’s
  • Design choice boards, a strategy that many educators use as a step toward supporting self-determination and social and emotional learning

Tentative Session Topics

  1. Overview of gamification, gamified quizzes, and play
  2. The multiplayer classroom
  3. Canvas gamified & escape games for learning
  4. SEL, the Mood Meter, and choice boards
  5. Game-like learning
  6. Learn in “Creative Mode”
  7. Putting it all together

Who Can Join?

This community is great for novices and experts. No experience with gamification or proficiency in educational technology is required.

Anyone who teaches at UNC, either in a degree program, co-curricular program, or other environment can participate in the learning community. If you develop and deliver a learning experience at UNC, this learning community is for you! Full- and part-time faculty, staff, and graduate students are welcome. Space is limited and participants are selected on a first come basis.