Curriculum and assessment design


This article explores the praxis of gamification pedagogy and post-secondary course design. The literature on gamified design theory and current research on its application as a pedagogy are explored. A student-centric, motivationally based gamification design model is proposed, operationalized, implemented, evaluated, and reiterated. The design process, application strategies and challenges, and resulting qualitative outcomes over a two-year implementation period of the re-designed gamified course are detailed. Student evaluations rated both the overlaid gamified structural design and the integrated course mechanics as highly motivating and contributing significantly to their success and positive learning experience. The gamified course design was able to resolve historical challenges for the identified course and increased student engagement. Gamification pedagogy proved uniquely effective for two sub-groups of students, those struggling with anxiety and second language learners. This innovative pedagogy effectively leveraged students’ unique intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to create an empowering, supportive, and highly effective learning framework.

Practitioner Notes

  1. A comprehensive gamification pedagogical course design involves the identification and matching of student motivators and gamified mechanics to engage learners to achieve academic success.
  2. Gamification pedagogy can bridge contemporary students’ learning needs and existing university course content by designing student-centric motivationally based course frameworks that enhance learning engagement.
  3. Gamification can be applied to resolve historical challenges in courses, while maintaining existing course content and academic rigor.
  4. Subsets of students reported that select groupings of gamification mechanics mitigated their anxiety and language barrier needs, contributing significantly to their academic success.
  5. By design, student-centric, motivationally based gamification pedagogy should theoretically be equally effective with any targeted group of students and any subject matter to achieve desired outcomes.