Adding gaming and gamification to instructional design: notes and more from last week’s Future Trends Forum

How can we use games and gamification in teaching and learning?

Last week professor Karl Kapp joined the Future Trends Forum to explore this subject. The conversation took off quickly as Karl raised ideas and the Forum community hurled questions.

Forum_Karl Kapp_Julie__Roxann

Screen grab by Roxann Riskin. I was looking unusually serious at that moment.

I was especially struck by how many resources everyone shared, and wanted to echo them here.

To begin with, before the session started Dan LaSota shared a short Twitter exchange about a vulcanology game:


Professor Kapp shared his The “Unofficial, Unauthorized History of Learning Games”​ Video Series and his L&D Easter Eggs newsletter, both on LinkedIn.  He also pointed out his Zombie Instructional Design Apocalypse card game.

Then more and more specific recommendations came up:

While these discussions occurred within the Shindig environment, more took place on Twitter. Dan LaSota kept on tweeting, issuing several useful tweets during the session:

Sam Barnett replied:

Ben Rifkin responded:


It was a busy hour!

So busy that there were also outstanding questions we didn’t get to, which I wanted to relay:

Jesse H Kemp: In general do you prefer cooperative or competitive games and why?

Neil Fung: How do current trends in video games or popular video games influence instructional game design?

Andrew Peterson: I hear a lot about board games and electronic games, but it seems like there’s a strong history in role-playing in the classroom. Does that just fit into the same mix?

Elliot Jordan: For Instructional Design students, do you recommend learning game engines first or finding learning problems and gaps that can use gamification?

Daniel Jordan: One of the ways we’re trying to encourage our faculty to implement gaming strategies at Saint Leo is through the creation of a faculty leaderboard that is linked to professional development. Thoughts on this and how to make it most effective?

Jesse H Kemp: Do you think we would get a quicker buy-in if we used simulation opposed to game? Is the terminology a hinderance?

Tom Haymes also asked about the value of extrinsic rewards for learning in game structures, pointing out that in a very recent Forum Alfie Kohn had argued such rewards were useless for education.

Here’s the full recording of the session:

If you’re interested in more upcoming discussions about gaming and education, check out our June gaming session with the Penn State designers of the What The Deck game. If you’d like to check out previous Forum conversations about the topic, head to our archive.

Got more resources to share? Would you like answering those outstanding questions, or posing some of your own?  The comment box awaits your next move!

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