This section includes my learning and attempts at gamification AND game-based learning (GBL). I’ve been a gamer since first playing pong at my neighbor’s house when I was seven and I’ve always wondered how to bring that level of engagement, fun, and learning into my classroom. So this is where I’ll be placing links of my journey into gamifying my classroom.

My Diigo Links on Gamification

Gamification vs Game-Based Learning (My understanding of the difference between the two terms.)

My Diigo Links on Game-Based Learning (GBL)

My Scoop.It resources on GBL

Gamification: Where to Begin?

Alternate Reality Game (my first blog post on the topic of gamification)

Gamifying My Classroom (my plan for making the classwork kids do in my classes more like gaming than school work)

Beginning of Year (reflections on how I started the 2012-13 school year and setting up a gaming classroom)

Gamified Classroom? (reflections after a trimester of trying to gamify my classes)

When is Extrinsic Motivation Okay? (My thoughts on using rewards with regards to game-based learning.)

Gamification Alternative to Grading? (My thoughts after a Twitter conversation on badges.)

Gamifying Take 2 (My reflections on my first attempt at Games-Based Learning and plans for next year (2013-14.)

Planning for the Fall Already (More on my plans for the new school year this fall.)

My 6th grade Plan (Got my layout for the 2013-14 year for 6th grade done.)

My 8th grade Plan (Got my layout for the 2013-14 year for 8th grade done.)

Characteristics of GBL (What I’ve been learning about Game-Based Learning)

Make Lessons Attractive (More to consider when turning lessons into quests.)

Rewards and Gaming (Things to think about when doling out rewards in gamified classrooms.)

Elements that Make Games Motivating (A Glog I made to share the elements of motivation.)

Whole Class vs Individual vs Small Group (Offering students choice yet keep a scope and sequence. The balance.)

Badges, Do We Need Them? (More on badges, achievements (rewards) in the gamified classroom.)

Game Addiction (My experience with game addiction.)

Machinima (What it is. Can we use it in the classroom? Yeah!)

Almost Ready for Fall (I’ve got my 6th and 8th grade plans on 3D GameLab and am ready to go!)

Gamification Resources (Slides from a presentation I gave for #RSCON4 on my gamification attempts.)

Gamified Science Courses (How 3D GameLab has helped me gamify my Science classes. It’s a pretty cool tool.)

Gaming and Motivation (An example of how gaming changed my life.)

Why Game? (Why do people like games? My thoughts.)

1st Semester Assessment (Assessing the first semester in ROLE classes and using 3D GameLab.)

WoW in Science (My use of World of Warcraft in Science class!)
Day 1 WoW in Science (Our first day playing WoW in Science class!)
Day 2 WoW in Science
Day 3 WoW in Science
Day 4 WoW in Science
Day 5 WoW in Science
Day 6 WoW in Science
Days 7, 8, and 9 WoW in Science
Days 10, 11, 12, 13 WoW in Science
#GBL with WoW (final reflection)

Classdojo or Classcraft (two easy ways to introduce some gamification into your classroom)
3D GameLab and/or Classcraft??? (making a choice to use both or one or the other)
Hard Decisions (I made the choice between 3D GameLab and Classcraft)

Hour of Code Week

Am I a Hypocrite? (Awards vs Badges and XP)
PBIS and Rewards (Follow-Up Blog to Am I a Hypocrite)

Star Trek Choose Your Own Adventure Class Story
The Story Continues…
Next Episode
Following an Energy Trail
Rule Out the Klingons?
Away Team
Mid-Season Finale
Averting War
Season Finale!

Second Attempt at Using WoWinSchools with my Students:
Literacy with WoW
1st Quarter WoW
1st Quarter WoW Complete
WoW Dancing
Game-Based Learning

Video Games in the Classroom

My GBL and Gamification NCCE Notes

Presenting at WSTA 2015 (I did a Gamification presentation at a Science Conference!)
Presenting at NCCE 2016 (I also shared my Gamification presentation at this year’s NCCE!)

Other Reasons to Gamify (Infographic)

Flow in School

School as a Game (A post about gamification – the basics)

World of Warcraft Interview (A blog post interview by Classcraft about my using WoW in Schools!)

Playing the Game of School (I am now using Classcraft AND 3D GameLab! This post shows how.)


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  1. Hey!

    Your system is really cool!

    Have you heard of ARTEMIS space-ship bridge simulator? (
    I use it as a group story-structure but as an English teacher it isn’t as applicable for me.

    My name is Scott Brewer and I teach English at an Alternative Program in Louisville, KY.

    My class is gamified as well, and I also read The Multiplayer Classroom.

    I highly recommend reading, “Reality is Broken” as well, as further reading into the psych of good game mechanics and development.

    My classroom website is (

    Thanks for posting your work!
    I’ve been looking for examples of other classes that are “Whole-Class Games” for a presentation I am putting together for Gencon 2016 Trade-Day.

    My presentation group is dividing gamified courses into three levels of complexity, and your system is at the highest level, “integrated content” where students are engaging with game mechanics whenever they are engaging with content, making their cognitive load doubly complex while providing freedom to fail.

    Very cool stuff.

    I hope you are having a great summer,

    Mr. Brewer

  2. Hi Mr. Brewer,

    I’ve never heard of the Artemis Bridge Simulator. It looks so cool! Thanks for sharing that!

    The Multiplayer Classroom is a great book for gamifying a course! I haven’t read Reality is Broken but I love Jane’s Ted Talke (her sister’s Ted Talk on stress is also amazing) and I use Jane’s SuperBetter App. Another incredible McGonigal story!

    I love your website, it’s gorgeous! Your class looks fun!I wish I had teachers who gamified their courses when I went to school. 🙂

    Thanks for the summary of my course as the highest level of gamified complexity! That is cool and exactly what I was after!

    Summer is going well here, even though we haven’t had as much sun as I’m used to (La Nina has been bringing us cloudy, cooler, wetter weather – common for fall, winter and spring, but NOT summer!). Hope your summer is going well!

    • Jeffrey L Thompson on August 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Hello! I have been reading all of your blog posts and I am set to Gamify this school year. I noticed in your online session you had a spreadsheet you were using to map out the year. You also mentioned that you were making that available. Is it here on this site somewhere?

    Thanks for writing this blog, it has been most helpful.

  3. Hi Jeffrey,

    Here’s my 6th grade 3D GameLab Plan:
    Here it is on Popplet in a more visual form:

    I’m glad my blog has been helpful! 🙂

    • Anna Ballantine on May 18, 2017 at 12:19 am

    Hi there! Some awesome links on here that I am definitely going to look into more – such a great way to engage learners! I was wondering if you have any particular sites, apps, learning experiences which could be used in a math context? As I am currently trying to revamp this curriculum area in the school I teach in. Appreciate any advice!

  4. Hi Anna, you can use Rezzly’s 3D GameLab to Gamify any Math course. I haven’t used Classcraft in a while but my students enjoyed it the year I did try it out. You can also try out different math games for Game-Based Learning. I’m not familiar with any games first hand so I’m not sure what I could recommend.

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