6 Ways Gamification Is Being Used Right Now

In an unplanned series of sorts, we’re showcasing a couple of posts about the 2013 NMC/EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Horizon Report for Higher Education. We’ve already talked about the key trends in the report and some challenges we face in implementing education technology, so we’re ready to take a look at the six technologies highlighted in the report as being game-changers for education. We’ve already looked at MOOCs and tablet computing. Educational Games and gamification were identified as part of the ‘second horizon’, (or entering mainstream use in a two to three years).

Gamification is not a new topic for us at Edudemic, though it is definitely a concept that only a small percentage of teachers out there are actually using. The Horizon Report showcases a number of different examples of institutions using tablets of all kinds to supplement learning in a variety of subjects. We’ve linked to each of them below (along with the description provided in the report) so you can check out some of what the investigators saw as great examples. connect four gamification

Global Social Problems

The Global Social Problems, Local Action & Social Networks for Change project at St. Edward’s University positioned learners in the role of superheroes to tackle large-scale global social problems at local levels.


At the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno, students play a game that is built into Blackboard called HML-IQ to orient themselves with the available library resources and how to use them. Top scorers are awarded gift cards to the library’s coffee shop upon completing each level. The games were created with open source tools including Snagit.

Open Orchestra

McGill University’s Open Orchestra simulation game uses high definition panoramic video and surround sound to provide musicians with the experience of playing in an orchestra or singing in an opera.

Queen’s University “Exergames”

A professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada is involved in a collaborative study that explores how “exergames” — or video games that require physical activity — improve the well being of teenagers afflicted with cerebral palsy.

Social Media Innovation Quest

At the Fox School of Business at Temple University, a professor designed his social media innovation course as a quest in which students earn points for blogging and engaging in social media activities. They are awarded badges, and those that excel earn a place on the leader board.

The University of Bahia’s Games and Education

The University of Bahia’s Games and Education initiative, based in the Brazilian state of Bahia, supports collaborative, scholarly research along with publications about educational games. One of their missions is to aid in developing games that simulate teaching scenarios.

University of Washington Business Simulations

The Foster School of Business at the University of Washington partnered with game developer Novel Inc. to take real, complex scenarios from major companies, including Starbucks and Nike, and turn them into enterprise simulation games.