15 ways to gamify your class

Games are fun. We love playing them, watching them and even creating them. But how can we bring elements of gameplay into our classroom in meaningful ways? Here are 15 ways to gamify your class.

A quick way to start a conversation is by asking someone about their favorite game. Whether it’s the latest video game craze (Fornite takes the cake there), a beloved childhood board game or the local sports team they never miss watching, games are an engaging topic.

As adults we love games. And so do our students.

Adding elements of gameplay in the classroom increases engagement. Throw in opportunities for students to level up, earn badges and points using teamwork in a friendly competition and watch their motivation skyrocket.

Gamification can be as simple as adding a Kahoot to the end of a unit or as complex as #QRBreakIn, an exciting game-based approach to centers.

During the weekly #DitchBook Twitter chat (Thursdays at 7 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. MST / 9 p.m. CST / 10 p.m. EST), we discussed gamification in the classroom. The conversation included ideas for using gameplay to create experiences that are different, innovative, tech-laden, creative and hands-on.

Below you will find 15 ways to gamify your class. Educators shared ideas along with links to resources so that you can begin using gamification in your classroom

Check out this Wakelet to see the whole discussion along with this Padlet full of gamification resources crowdsourced by the #Ditchbook community.

1. Use Google forms for students to solve a mystery with task-cards.

2. Utilize online apps and tools like Class Craft, Quizlet, Kahoot, Class Dojo to add gamification to your lessons.

3. Google Sheets can be a fantastic tool for adding elements like points, badges and leveling up. Check out Alice Keeler’s post and template.


4. Create missions for students using a fun theme with QR codes.

5. Google Forms have many, many uses in the classroom. Try using them for a digital addition to BreakoutEDU.

6. A simple but effective way to add a little competition into Google Classroom is to let them reply to one another and choose their favorite response.

7. Old classics like “The Price Is Right” can make a comeback in the modern classroom using G Suite tools!

8. Using AR and VR can take your games to a whole new level and completely change the way the players interact with each other and the game itself.

9. Story Cubes add the element of storytelling to a game-based activity. Pair them with an online tool like Flipgrid to create a challenge for your students.

10. The Iron Chef Eduprotocol is a class favorite for adding a bit of friendly competition to any subject area.

11. Why keep scavenger hunts confined to school grounds? With Google Earth or Nearpod, students can literally explore the entire globe!

12. Your students are extremely creative. Get them in on the gamification by challenging them to make badges for their accomplishments. Alice Keeler has some great templates to get you and your students started.

13. Level up your gamification and challenge your class to create their own game!

14. There’s a reason that online multiplayer games like Clash of Clans are so popular. When we leverage that engagement in the class, serious learning can come out of play.

15. Start the year off with a gamified syllabus! Elementary level teachers can use this idea for the beginning of the year or even for Back to School Night!


How do you feel about game-based learning? How have you used it in class? Which of these ideas could you start using? Leave your ideas in a comment below!

Want to get in on the next #DitchBook Twitter chat?

Having trouble? Still unclear on how a Twitter chat works? Feel free to tweet to these #DitchBook ambassadors and they’ll help — Karly Moura @karlymoura, Sean Fahey @seanjfahey, Sandy Otto @sandyrotto, Rachel Marker @rachelmarker, Evan Mosier @emosier3, Mandi Tolen @TTmomTT, Craig Klement @craigklement, Tara Martin @taramartinedu, Krista Harmsworth @zonie71, Anne Kamper @annekamper, Rayna Freedman @rlfreedm, Lance McClard @drmcclard, Stephanie DeMichele @sdemichele or David Platt @herrplatt!

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Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

  Date Event / Event Details City / More Info
+ 04/28/2020
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Norristown, PA
+ 06/09/2020
North Alabama Technology Conference Huntsville, AL
+ 06/10/2020
Blended Learning Conference Sevierville, TN
+ 06/11/2020
Summer Digital Learn Conference North Wilkesboro, NC
+ 06/12/2020—06/14/2020
DBC Pirate Con San Diego, CA
+ 06/28/2020—07/01/2020
ISTE Anaheim, CA
+ 12/03/2020
Tennessee Educational Technology Association Conference Murfreesboro, TN