How Can I Use Simple Gamification Strategies to Engage my Students?


Extract from Issue#16 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link

By Kristin Ziska, Instructional Designer, North Arizona University.

“Gamification is using game elements and mechanics in a non-game context.”

In this 17-minute presentation, Kristin Ziska draws together some basic strategies and ideas for using gamification to promote student learning. Its basic elements are: goals, competition, feedback, rewards; also points, levels and lots of failure!The three sections of this presentation are:
1. Preparing to gamify:

  • Keep playing games and analysing
  • Explore your content
  • Begin to think like a designer

2. Four strategies for gamification and an example of each:

  • Badging
  • Leader boards
  • Story-based approaches
  • Embrace the power of failure

3. Strategies to deal with failures in gamification:

  • Have a growth mindset
  • Elicit student input into design
  • Keep trying

More Gamification

Wisc-online allows you to explore games created by others and also to create your own at

Suggestion: try some examples of the “BeeKeeper” game in any topic where you think you know the answers. Then, try creating one yourself, based on your own content.