Gamification in Blackboard Learn session at BbWorld17  [ Wed 11:30am room 276 ]

Blog Post created by smachaje on Jul 21, 2017

Gamification in Blackboard Learn session at BbWorld17IMG_9163.PNG

Wed 11:30am room 276


Download the “MyGame” mobile app (App Store, Google Play, or Amazon Underground).  Play the game before, during, and after the session to understand how to gamify course activities and Blackboard Learn course.  Complete the missions, including Amazon Alexa fun, and win a free Amazon Tap.


What can you expect at the session?


1. Introduction to Gamification.

Gamification can be defined as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals” (Burke, 2014).  The session will elaborate on gamification frameworks by You-Kai Chou and Andrzej Marczewski.

More at the session and in Course Gamification Tools for Blackboard Learn.


2. Identify the Engagement Problem

Engagement suffers in classrooms leading to problems in many academic fields.  For example, in STEM 48% for bachelor’s candidates and 69% for associate degree candidates left field of study or left college all together (Chen & Soldner, 2013).  Disengagement of knowledge workers at the office is also a problem.  Customer loyalty programs need polishing.  Harvard Business Review warns that 50% of women currently in STEM jobs will leave the industry.


3. Why Gamification and Why Now?

The idea of gamification is not new,  however specific conditions in the environment that promote gameful thinking growth are now present:


  1. Theory. Positive psychology is "the scientific study of what makes life most worth living”.  1998.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 9.28.02 AM.png

  2. Business popular science. ”Good to Great” James Collins. 2001. “Reality Is Broken“ Jane McGonigal. 2008. The Drive” Daniel Pink. 2009. “Where Good Ideas Come From” Steven Johnson. 2010
  3. Tools. ClassDojo. 2011.  Mozilla Open Badges. 2011.  ClassCraft. 2013. GradeCraft. 2013.
  4. People. Atari. 1972. “The Well-Played Game”. Bernard De Koven. 1978


4. How to use Gamification Principles in Blackboard Learn

  1. Quiz Tournaments
  2. Course Reports Games
  3. Adaptive Release
  4. Achievements/Badges
  5. XP Ledger
  6. ECP Program as a Requirements for Gamification Projects


5. A case study of a course that applied gamification in Blackboard Learn

In depth review of peer-reviewed literature, motivational theories, gamification methods, quantitative content analysis of student feedback.

A second case study in Germanic Studies Dept of University of Illinois at Chicago: The “UIC German” Game App for the Enhancement of Foreign Language Learning Case Study | International Journal of E…


  1. 1002 course review comments
  2. 182 entries
  3. activity data collected from the custom gamification system
  4. Cengage (SAM) system,, and


Qualitative Content Analysis:

331 extracts grouped based on emerging themes and patterns.  The categories were adjusted in a cycle of revisions following the patterns found in the data.








Csikszentmihalyi, M., (1991). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper

Cunningham, C., Zichermann, G., (2011). Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps. O’Reilly Media, Sebastopol, CA.

Deterding, S., (2012). Gamification: designing for motivation. Interactions 19, 14–17.

Entertainment Software Association. (2016). 2016 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry. Retrieved from 2016.pdf

Granic, I., Lobel, A., & Engels, R. E. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist, 69(1), 66–78. doi:10.1037/a0034857

Machajewski, S. (2017).  Application of Gamification in College STEM Introductory Course: A Case Study (Doctoral dissertation).  Retrieved from

McGonigal, J., (2011). Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Penguin Books, New York, NY.

Ryder, R., & Machajewski, S. (2017). The “UIC German” Game App for the Enhancement of Foreign Language Learning Case Study. International Journal Of Educational Technology (ISSN 2476-0730), 4(1), 1-10. Retrieved from