Tag Archives: gamification

Motivation through games – Full article

Playful elements such as competitions, quests and challenges have proved very useful in livening up teaching sequences and above all in motivating students. Here, in addition to their extrinsic motivation, many students also display increased intrinsic motivation. Both are demonstrably important to the success of learning (see [1]). The concept of gamification in teaching is not new, but using computers to realise it has created new possibilities. At ETH these are now being tried out in various courses.

The general definition of gamification is: “Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems.”[2] Or, more simply put, “Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage users.”[3] Here it should be differentiated from “serious gaming” and “game-based learning”, which denote actual computer games which are pedagogically oriented and have clearly formulated learning objectives (e.g. iCivics[4]). The focus of gamification, in contrast, is the changing of existing concepts and approaches and not the development of new computer games. However, all of these approaches have a clear aim: to increase student engagement [4].

In the NMC-Horizon Report 2014 gamification was named as the most important technological teaching and learning development for the next 2-3-year period. In the current Report, however, it is no longer referred to as a technological teaching and learning trend – for in the meantime it is no longer a trend, but has been integrated into the world of learning. One of the best-known tools of gamification is badges [5], virtual prizes which recognise achievements during a course. There are examples of significant correlations between learning success and the deployment of gamification, and of an inverse influence on dropout rates [6] and fail grades. However, in his definitive book [2] Kapp warns against simply viewing gamification as the deployment of competition and participant ranking lists: gamification requires didactic adjustments and an aligned overall teaching concept if it is to work.  Gameplay (game progression) and storytelling (the way the game’s history is told) in particular must be thought through. Other authors are also sceptical [7], but mostly criticise the extrinsic nature of the student motivation generated by gamification.

At ETH several projects on the theme of gamification have been implemented. They include:

Gamification increases many students’ engagement with their learning, and is an interesting option for ETH. However, games are not the be all and end all for teaching. Rather, targeted aspects of gamification should be identified and deployed. Ways to do this already exist. In the digital area, the Moodle learning platform is equipped for action in this respect (e.g. with LevelUp! plugins (http://levelup.branchup.tech/?utm_source=blockxp_plusfeatures&utm_medium=pluginsdb&utm_campaign=moodleorg), and the concept of badges and performance-based availability are known.

1.      Sailer, Michael (2016): Die Wirkung von Gamification auf Motivation und Leistung : Empirische Studien im Kontext manueller Arbeitsprozesse – Wiesbaden : Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
2.      Kapp, K. M. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and instruction: game-based methods and strategies for training and education. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

3.      http://www.gamification.co/2012/01/13/gamification-vs-game-based-learning-in-education/

4.      https://www.icivics.org

5.      http://www.openbadges.org

6.      Hamari, J., Koivisto, J., and Sarsa, H. (2014). Does Gamification Work? – A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on gamification. In proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, USA.

7.      http://krystlejiang.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/the-dangers-of-gamification/

Motivation through games


Date and time: September 27th, 12:15 – 13:15

Location: ETH Hönggerberg, HIL H40.4 (Plaza)

Motivation through games. Designing learning experiences with game elements

The use of games in teaching and learning is a developing field with huge potential. Games offer a range of interesting structures and methods that complement traditional teaching strategies. Games can infuse teaching with energy, spark innovative thinking and create an atmosphere of fun. At this Refresh Teaching event we will take a look at how teachers can increase student motivation with the use of gaming elements.

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  • Prof. Dr. Bob Sumner, Associate Director & Principal Research Scientist, Disney Research Zurich (due to personal reasons Prof. Bob Sumner won’t be able to join us for the event. Therefore Dr. Fabio Zünd Managing Director of the Game Technology Center will be presenting this part of the event).
  • Prof. Dr. Torbjörn Netland, Department of Management, Technology and Economics.

Presentations, Documents and Links:


Am Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015 findet um 12 Uhr im Raum HG E41 die Pilot-Veranstaltung statt.

Gamification – Spielerische Elemente sinnvoll im Unterricht einsetzen

Spielerische Elemente wie Wettbewerbe, Quests oder Herausforderungen können Unterrichtssequenzen auflockern und vor allem Studierende motivieren. Bei vielen Studierenden kann neben einer extrinsischen Motivation (Benefit) auch eine erhöhte intrinsische Motivation beobachtet werden. Nachgewiesenermassen ist die Motivation von grosser Bedeutung für den Lernerfolg. Dieses Konzept ist nicht neu, mit Computerunterstützung entstehen nun aber neue Möglichkeiten. An der ETH wurden die Möglichkeiten bereits in verschiedenen Veranstaltungen ausgelotet. In dieser Veranstaltung hören wir zwei Erfahrungsberichte und erleben, wie einfach die ersten Ansätze zu gestalten sind. Von ihren Erfahrungen berichten Dorsa Sanadgol (D-MTEC;  Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks) sowie Marco Piccioni (D-INFK; Chair of Software Engineering).

Es handelt sich dabei um eine Pilotveranstaltung in Deutsch und Englisch. Neben der Vermittlung der inhaltlichen Aspekte möchten wir darin das neue Format der Veranstaltungsreihe testen und würden uns freuen, von Ihnen im Anschluss dazu ein Feedback zu erhalten. Nach der Veranstaltung wird eine kleine Verpflegung offeriert.

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Die Bilder zum Event: