Q&A + links from the Gamification in Teaching and Learning webinar

Blog Post created by smachaje on Apr 30, 2019

Presentation Slides & Notes:

[BITS] Gamification and Game-Based Learning -- Presentation Slides


Questions from the webinar:



Question: <v John Thompson>What happens if a student ignores the course agreement?

Answer: The agreement changes the button from yellow to green. It is a Mark Review button with CSS. This means that Adaptive Release can be applied. As a result, the Pearson link and Discussion Board are hidden until the agreement is confirmed. See the gif below.




Question: <v Maureen Larsen>Where can we find more information on training about advanced adaptive release and how to use it in the way you suggest?


Answer: Maureen, you're right, we should have a deep dive into adaptive release at BbWorld and a good recording. For now, here are some links:

How-to Set Adaptive Release in Blackboard - YouTube

Advanced Adaptive Release in Blackboard - YouTube



Question: <v Cris Wildermuth>Many of us are dealing with low budgets. What ideas do you have for low cost or free gamification tools?

<v Cris Wildermuth>Please, please, mention the question on low cost or free tools? Budget is a huge issue for many of us.

Answer: A few of free gamification tools for classroom activities are:

1. Kahoot Quiz for Medical Science - YouTube

2. Quizlet Live Classroom and Learning Game | Quizlet


Question: <v Pat Rennie>I'm a beginner. What is the best place to start?

Answer: I would recommend these videos:

1. Gaming can make a better world | Jane McGonigal - YouTube

2. Karl Kaap on Course 1 | Course 2

Karin Hutchinson, Teaching Complex Topics



Question: <v Debra Mascott>Has anyone seen eLearning Brothers (games can be created in Storyline, Captivate, Lectora).


00:54:18.000 --> 00:54:18.900

<v Cris Wildermuth>@Debra, eLearning Brothers is great and offers also free PowerPoint templates that can be gamified, as well as templates for other pricier tools. Camtasia is a one-time purchase and very good.


Answer: Free eLearning Stuff - eLearning Brothers

Also free graphics site:


Question: <v Nagaraj Neerchal>I am very happy to hear your last comment regarding balance. Games may end up focusing too much on the rules rather than learning. (student often do not submit a late HW bcz there is penalty for late submission). your comments?


Answer: Negraj, this is a great observation. Late assignments or 2nd try assignments encourage learning and help students to cope with failure. Often they are approved by professors based on personal opinion. Instead, in my game system students earn the permission to turn in late assignments by collecting XP and paying with them.

More about late assignments and the game system for introductory courses here:


Question: <v Thomas Clemons>I teach graduate students of all ages. How do they respond to this type of learning?

Answer: Some courses may need gamification. Especially courses with fewer than 10 students or advanced courses where the excitement of the topics engages everyone. It doesn't mean that gamification cannot be helpful. Gamification allows for creating new habits and encouraging behaviors. You see this in credit card reward point systems, Nike sports tracking, and other adult gamification projects. I think the biggest bang for the buck for universities is generating engagement in large enrollment introductory courses.


Here is a book of gamification benefits in business and other areas beyond school:


Question: <v Joanne Mathiasen>Is most of this only available in Bb Ultra?

Answer: All of the features are available in Original courses.


Question: <v Manuel Fernandez>Did you address another way to show progress that might not require comparisons between students?

Answer: Manuel, leaderboards should be used cautiously. Comparison between students can be damaging. I wrote up some details about it in the case study for gamification in a STEM course. I'm including a few quotes from that paper below. The bottom line, I let some students see progress of others, their avatars do not show their real name, the leaderboard is called Experience Ranking. It is not necessary to compare students to each other, however, some "player personalities" are motivated by scoring more points than others.


Quotes taken from the case study:

ERIC - ED574876 - Application of Gamification in a College STEM Introductory Course: A Case Study, Online Submission, 20…


While many studies report benefits of gamification in education and other fields (Dicheva, Dichev, Agre, & Angelova, 2015), Gartner warned in 2012 that 80% of gamification projects would fail in the next two years due to poor understanding of effective design in gamification (Gartner, 2012). The successful studies in education focus on problem-solving skills, exploration, and discovery as project outcomes (Lee & Hammer, 2011;Kapp, 2012;Sitzmann, 2011). Studies that report negative impacts of gamification cite decreases in motivation, empowerment, and satisfaction due to ongoing comparisons between students in leaderboards (Hanus & Fox, 2015). Faiella and Ricciardi (2016)suggest that more work needs to be done to experimentally establish the learning benefits of gamification in education.
Leaderboards help students to make a self-assessment as to the mastery of their own ability and provide a necessary reference point (Hoorens & Van Damme, 2012). When leaderboards provide an overview of the entire class performance,they point to opportunities for upward and downward comparisons (Christy & Fox, 2014). Leaderboards, as motivational tools, may pose a risk for some students by applying too much pressure despite any positive influence of superiority for those on top of such listing (Wells & Skowronski, 2012). Frequent comparison of academic performance on gamification electronic leaderboardsled in some gamified classrooms to lower exam scores and a decrease in motivation(Hanus & Fox, 2015). Further, competition has the potential to diminish performance, cooperation, and problem solving, and to increase cheating (Orosz, Farkas & Roland-Levy, 2013).

Leaderboards may motivate in participation but may decrease intrinsic motivation toward the course objectives. Some learners may be motivated through social context of games to fulfill needs of relatedness, while others may require achievement opportunities to address needs of competence. The goal for practitioners should be to find ways to support all of the basic psychological needs of learners in order to increase motivation and yield the desired outcomes.Stott and Neustaedters (2013) performed an analysis of gamification in education and came up with four concepts that appear to make gamification projects in education more successful. These concepts areas follows:

1.Freedom to fail

2.Rapid feedback



Instead of calling a student grade menu “My Grades” in the Blackboard Learn LMS, it was renamed to My Progress. Instead of calling the ranking screen “Leaderboard”, it was called “Experience Ranking”. This screen in the mobile app was accessible through the “Progress” tab, which listed missions completed most recently by students and missions completed most often. This data was displayed on a moving gallery, which promoted the concept of ongoing activity. The leaderboard was further optimized to only display 10 neighboring players with an option to see the top 30 overall players. A full ranking of all players was not available.


Webinar recording:

Gamification and Game-Based Learning - Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series BITS - YouTube


Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 1.50.08 PM.png



Links in slides:


Industry Facts - The Entertainment Software Association

Gaming The Classroom – The Art And Science Of GBL: Game Based Learning - e-Learning Infographics


What is Gamification? How Does Gamification Work? | Bunchball


Full game example:

Bob - Convert to Freeform


Other examples:

40+ Gamification Examples in E-Learning #102

What will you create? |


Time quiz game:

More examples:


More tools:

Gamification: Course Leaderboard ver 2 | Blackboard Community

Blackboard Learn: Adaptive Release - Blackboard Help for Staff - University of Reading


Focus on progress:

Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve | TED Talk


Gamification in Introduction to Computing at Grand Valley State University

Move over, Mario - Professor invents game to engage students in learning - Grand Valley Magazine

ERIC - ED575007 - Gamification in Blackboard Learn, Online Submission, 2017-Jul-25



GradeCraft – Academic Innovation


Karl Kaap: Gamification of Learning

Gamification for Interactive Learning

Karin Hutchinson, Teaching Complex Topics



Hey, teach! Is the force with you? Evaluate how strong is gamification in your course.