Week 2

EDET 679 Week 2 What is the difference between Gaming and Gamification and why does it matter?

Gamification according to Matera is “the use of game principles and game mechanics in a non-game setting.” It’s adding those elements to a non-game situation. For example, completing a Subway punch card to win a free sandwich (Suzanne, 2013). It’s applying those game dynamics like the theme, narrative, story line, restrictions, etc. in the classroom, and rewarding students based on their success with badges, points, or whatever reward system you choose (Matera, 2014). “A common implementation of gamification is to take the scoring elements of video games, such as points, levels, and achievements, and apply them to a work or educational context,” (Nicholson, 2012).

Game-based learning according to www.teachthought.com is learning through games. It’s used to “enhance the learning experience,” (Isaacs, 2015). Commercial games like SimCity, World of Warcraft, Minecraft and Portal 2 are examples of game-based learning. According to Issacs, when these games are tied to the curriculum, it’s a powerful learning experience.

Gamification is not game-based learning (www.teachthough.com). It doesn’t even require students to play games, toys, or even use technology. Gamification is used to:

  1. Encourage specific response or behavior.
  2. Increase the visibility and perceived importance of minor and less visible actions.
  3. Promote competition to engage students.
  4. Help students track their own progress.

An easy way to think about Gamification, is a reward system i.e. student of the month, behavior reward tickets, or point systems. In my classroom I use Class Dojo as a way to manage student behavior. If a student makes so many points throughout the school day or week, they get rewarded based on my point system. My students understand the concept; they know that when they exhibit positive behavior, they get rewarded, or when negative behavior is displayed, points are taken.

We have game-based learning apps on our iPads called Reflex Math and Vocabulary City. These are games that tie into our curriculum and with the common core standards. Theses game-based learning apps are great; my students stay engaged, they want to pass the levels to move onto the next, and they go right along with their learning level.



(2013, July 15). 4 Ways To Bring Gamification of Education To Your Classroom – Top Hat Blog. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from https://blog.tophat.com/4-ways-to-gamify-learning-in-your-classroom/

Isaacs, S. (2015, January 15). The Difference between Gamification and Game-Based Learning. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://inservice.ascd.org/the-difference-between-gamification-and-game-based-learning/

Matera, M. (2014). Entering the Realm of the Nobles: Michael Matera. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFG3Vk-MCf8

Nicholson, S. (2012, June). A User-Centered Theoretical Framework for Meaningful Gamification. Paper Presented at Games+Learning+Society 8.0, Madison, WI.

(2014, April 4). The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/learning/difference-gamification-game-based-learning/



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