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 “Games are the most elevated form of investigation”

Albert Einstein

Gamification: “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals” (Burke, 2014).

Should gamification be used in academic environments?  Many academics disagree.  An opinion among college educators is that introductory courses should be difficult and serve the role of gatekeepers (Gasiewski, Eagan, Garcia, Hurtado, & Chang, 2011).  However, introductory courses, which aim at introducing broad content to inexperienced students, have just the same potential to introduce as they have to repulse from the subject matter.  They are prime candidates for focusing on student experience in the exploration and building affinity to the course subject matter.  When the goal is to give a positive beginning in the academic pursuit and fuel exploration of unfamiliar content, gamification and gameful design provide the tools to engage the mind of the student.




Burke, B. (2014, April 4). Gartner Redefines Gamification. Retrieved March 2, 2016, from http://blogs.gartner.com/brian_burke/2014/04/04/gartner-redefines-gamification/

Gasiewski, J. A., Eagan, M. K., Garcia, G. A., Hurtado, S., & Chang, M. J. (2011). From Gatekeeping to Engagement: A Multicontextual, Mixed Method Study of Student Academic Engagement in Introductory STEM Courses. Research in Higher Education, 53(2), 229–261. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-011-9247-y

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