K. Rapti

Gamification is a new word, coined by Nick Pelling in 2002 [1] for an old concept, that of games supporting (learning) objectives, which have been popular through the ages. Deterding et al. [2] describe it as the use of game elements in a non-gaming context. So, fundamentally gamification is the use of game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems. That is why it can be used as an alternative way of assessing students. One example is that of Lee Sheldon [3] at the University of Indiana and Rensselaer Polytechnic, who gives experience points to his students instead of grades. Normally a student starts with an A and then, depending on his performance, moves down towards an F, while in a game you start at zero points and you work your way up. So, he implemented the system that way, having all students start with an F and have to gain points to reach A+. Another example is that of using badges instead of grades. The former are intangible rewards that recognize accomplished missions, achieved milestones and even completed levels. Games are known to thrive in terms of engagement. Teachers already use game elements in their curriculum successfully. This paper will attempt to introduce the concept of gamification and its implementation to a learning environment.

[1] Marczewski, A. (2012). “Forward”. Gamification: A Simple Introduction (1st ed.). Andrzej Marczewski, p. 46. Retrieved 2012-11-25
[2] Deterding, S., Khaled, R., Nacke, L. E., & Dixon, D. (2011, May). Gamification: Toward a definition. In CHI 2011 Gamification Workshop Proceedings.
[3] Sheldon, L. (2012). The Multiplayer Classroom: designing coursework as a game. Course Technology.