Gamification in Education

In all of human history, man has always had a fascination for games. Linked to social life, they promote the interaction between people, playfulness, knowledge of the new and the art of dealing with challenges. The school, by the way, has always used games as a teaching artifice, especially for the students of kindergarten and early elementary school.

The big issue is that from adolescence to adulthood, when young people arrive at university, the opportunities for interaction through play become almost null. However, talking about gamification in education does not mean making the classroom a big board or a state-of-the-art video game.

For that, it is necessary to have creativity in education and use strategies that encourage the effective participation of the student, as is the case of gamification. Let’s definitely understand what this concept means and why you should encourage the academy to use it in daily pedagogical practices. Continue with us on the next lines!

What is gamification?

When we talk about new paradigms in education, gamification appears in a recurrent way in debates. From English gamification, it has been a great bet as an educational element in the 21st century in any phase of education.

Gamification in the pedagogical process means to adopt the logic, the rules and the design of games (analogical and/or electronic) to make the learning more attractive, motivating and enriching. Within the so-called active learning methodologies, gamification is among the most effective strategies to enhance learning and provide engagement of students with the course and the institution itself.

The potential of gamification in education is immense, since it develops socio-emotional skills that will make a total difference in learning. It is instigating to the students, because it makes use of natural behaviors of the human being, such as competitiveness, socialization, the desire to be rewarded for a job well done and the feeling of victory.

By using game design in pedagogical activities, the classroom becomes an attractive and challenging environment in the search for knowledge. In addition, there will be increased participation, improved creativity and autonomy, promotion of dialogue and focus on solving problem situations.

The most important thing about gamification is that the teacher sees strategy as a fuel for learning. To do so, he must associate the content with missions and challenges that make the students move sufficiently to broaden the depth of the subjects.

How to use gamification in education?

Gamification in education is an engagement strategy that can be used at different times. Especially when there is the expectation that the student expresses himself in an authentic way, in a kind of spontaneous communication, with little direction from the teacher, gambling is an excellent way out.

Classes with dense and difficult to understand content, such as exact sciences, are also favored by gamification. By trying games, the student learns more easily, through the practice and fun that the activity provides, formulas and concepts that, in traditional teaching, would spend hours trying to memorize and memorize – which makes it more difficult to assimilate the content and presents failed results.

What are the best techniques to apply gamification in education?

As we have already mentioned, gamification in education can be used for different purposes. To choose an approach, the teacher needs to take into consideration a set of elements for the construction of games, both in analogical and virtual environments. The main ones are:

  • narrative style;
  • rules;
  • control of the player over the stipulated journey;
  • discovery and exploration;
  • interaction;
  • time restrictions;
  • feedback from the player;
  • skills to deal with losses and victories.

Aware of the elements that involve a game, the teacher can use different techniques. We separate here some of the most relevant and successful ones. Check them out.


The stimulus to “storytelling” is a technique used to teach and demonstrate, but also to release the imagination of students. More or less like in videogame strategy games, storytelling arouses the player’s interest by inserting him in an enigmatic scenario.


Avatars are the visual representation of the player. In both classroom and virtual environment games, it is possible to ask the student to create a character with elements of the explored content. This helps the participant to increase his immersion in the activity.

Challenges, conquests and missions

We can say that this is the most important element in gamification, because completing missions and winning challenges is what makes the player want to try harder and harder. Therefore, these are motivational factors for students to want to engage in the games in an active and voluntary way.


It is essential to determine rewards for each positive action of the player. This is also a way to get positive feedback and stimulate engagement. Create a bonus or scoring system that gives the player advantages so that he sees the usefulness of the dynamics and realizes the benefits of the activity.


The feeling of stagnation is very bad in any human activity. Therefore, players need to know that they are moving in the right direction and gaining in learning. This characterizes the evolution in studies and creates a feeling of motivation.

Instant Feedback

At each stage of the game, it is important that feedback is provided so that participants are fully aware of their performance. So, before advancing in the activities, they need to know where they are hitting, where they are making mistakes and why.


The competitive instinct can generate concrete results for learning. As competitiveness is inherent to the nature of the human being, the healthy dispute in search of winning some challenge is an important item for better learning performance.

Why use gamification in education?

For a long time the use of technologies associated with education has suffered resistance. Although computer labs and, more recently, the interactive blackboard have invaded the classrooms, technology has always been present as another supporting element to traditional teaching – tools that served only to reinforce explanations in the hierarchical class format in which only the teacher speaks and the students listen and do fixation activities.

The big question is that the world has changed and today we see a generation of hyper-connected young adults. With several names to designate them – generation Y, Z, Millennials, Alphas – the fact is that they don’t know what it is to live without the internet and they easily have access to all the information they need. It is not necessary that anyone tells them.

How can gamification impact learning?

Gambling allows you to experience the content in practice and has a similar purpose to other active methodologies, such as reverse classroom, peer instruction, and problem-based learning. In all of them, the student becomes an agent in the production of his own knowledge, since the advance in learning depends on a proactive and voluntary attitude.

However, when a student is passively exposed to information (hearing someone speak, watching a movie or watching a presentation), the retention percentage is between 50% and 20%. If the student needs to dedicate himself/herself exclusively to reading some text, he/she cannot retain more than 10% of the information.