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Gamification pedagogy: a motivational approach to student-centric course design in higher education

Faculty Advisor




gamification pedagogy, motivational approach, student-centric course design, higher education

Abstract (summary)

This article explores the praxis of gamification pedagogy and post-secondary course design. The literature on gamified design theory and current research on its application as a pedagogy are explored. A student-centric, motivationally based gamification design model is proposed, operationalized, implemented, evaluated, and reiterated. The design process, application strategies and challenges, and resulting qualitative outcomes over a two-year implementation period of the re-designed gamified course are detailed. Student evaluations rated both the overlaid gamified structural design and the integrated course mechanics as highly motivating and contributing significantly to their success and positive learning experience. The gamified course design was able to resolve historical challenges for the identified course and increased student engagement. Gamification pedagogy proved uniquely effective for two sub-groups of students, those struggling with anxiety and second language learners. This innovative pedagogy effectively leveraged students’ unique intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to create an empowering, supportive, and highly effective learning framework.

Publication Information

Gironella, F. (2023). Gamification pedagogy: A motivational approach to student-centric course design in higher education. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(3).


Item Type




Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)