Video Games in Education: Innovative Gamification and Game-Based Learning Techniques

Table of Contents


Whatever the subject area, video games and simulations can be used directly to teach content, or adapted to engage students with specific learning situations. In fact, this method has been proven to achieve better results in terms of student autonomy, commitment, and satisfaction, and can be used with the whole class or to differentiate individual learners, online or face-to-face.

Moreover, by gamifying normal daily routines and activities, teachers can turn the classroom into an engaging and dynamic virtual environment – if you wonder what ‘gamification’ means, it refers to the application of typical elements of game playing (increasing levels of difficulty, competition, rules of play, avatars, rewards, etc.) to the curriculum and its evaluation.

But how can we put the passion for playing computer games to good use for learning, and how can we harness it?

This course has been designed to help teachers introduce video games in the classroom for educational purposes. Participants will explore the educational and pedagogical value of video games, discover how to apply virtual gaming techniques to real-life, non-digital situations, and learn how to find computer games for their subject area and apply them in the classroom.

They will also try out innovative games and gamification tools, and discover classroom apps that will save time, create engaged learners, and future-proof their teaching capacities.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to turn their classrooms from school libraries into school laboratories, where students can experiment and learn by being engaged with gamification techniques and actively playing video games.


Suggested computer proficiency: Intermediate 

Learning outcomes

The course will enable participants to:

  • Implement game-based materials in educational environments;
  • Exploit game mechanics to make difficult tasks and content more palatable;
  • Use new digital tools to encourage problem solving, perseverance and autonomy in their learners;
  • Engage and motivate learners to achieve their goals in both face to face and online environments;
  • Transmit the benefits of video game-based education to parents and school leaders.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Gamification and sharing experience

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of participants’ schools;
  • Dopamine and the benefits of using game dynamics in the classroom.

Day 2 – Elements of game design: why and how we learn while playing

  • Using elements, techniques and features of videogames in a classroom;
  • Using videogames designed specifically for educational purposes;
  • Using a controller/mouse and keyboard.

Day 3 – Varieties of videogames in education

  • Educational tools: Tak Tak Tak, Minecraft Edu, Socrative;
  • Simulation in videogames: pedagogical strengths;
  • Hands on experimentation.

Day 4 – Roleplaying and simulations

  • Role play games;
  • Gaming applied to specific school subjects, adapted to the needs and subject areas taught by the course participants;
  • Innovative apps and tools for evaluation.

Day 5 – Playing outdoor and gamification

  • Excursion outdoors: Escape rooms and web quest;
  • Applying gaming techniques in real life environments.

Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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