Research Output
Putting theory into practice: gamification for student engagement
  Gamification is the use of game design elements in a non-game contexts [1]. It is an intervention that has been used in a business setting for a number of years and is now becoming more and more applied in higher education [2]. We present the practical implications of our Gamification for Student Engagement framework developed for Higher Education. Landers [3] suggests that gamification is the process of identifying, extracting, and embedding game attributes into learning, in order to affect the behaviours and attitudes that support the achievement of learning outcomes. His theory describes how this works in a successfully gamified learning situation. By employing gamification, the relationship between instructional content and the achievement of learning outcomes becomes explicit and can be altered in specific ways to affect student attitudes and behaviours oriented towards a particular learning goal. In addition to this, Bedwell's taxonomy of game attributes [4] makes it theoretically possible to narrow down the game attributes that have an evidence base for supporting any given learning outcome. Student engagement can be explained using learning theories (e.g. see [5]). This framework can be used to understand player engagement and open up the door for learning theories to explain the effect of game attributes on players and thus on students. This allows us to define the aspects and functions of the behaviours/attitudes concept that underpins the theory of gamified learning. Now that the behaviour/attitudes that can be affected by gamification are better defined, we can start to consider exactly what gamification is affecting in engagement, how this happens, and what to look for to see if its works. This allows us to fill in the blanks between learning outcome and instructional content. Building on the work of Landers, Bedwell and Kahu we will explore ways in which our new consolidated framework of Gamification for Student Engagement may be used in practice

  • Date:

    31 December 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Garden, C., & Rivera, E. (2018). Putting theory into practice: gamification for student engagement. In EDULEARN18 Proceedings, (4563-4570).



Gamification; Engagement; Theory; Practice; Pedagogy; Higher Education; constructivism

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