Coffee CourseTrends and Futures

Play to Learn: Gamification for Educators

Gamification for educatorsThere has to be a good reason why many people spend a lot of their time, voluntarily, playing games. Most of these games are not only fun but also can help players satisfy their psychological needs such as competency, autonomy and relatedness. What if we borrow the elements and mechanics that make gaming so appealing and apply them to our teaching and learning? What are the effective strategies and approaches we can take to apply game thinking in education?

This course offers a quick overview of gamification and its potential use to enhance learners’ motivation and engagement. We will explore different design techniques and discuss powerful tools to build a successful gamified learning experience. Participants in this course will develop a good understanding of gamification principles and start thinking like a game designer when developing their own courses.

Course Dates

This course ran from Wednesday, 3 October to Friday, 5 October 2018 through this blog but is accessible online to anyone interested. There are 3 blog posts that will each take about 15-20 minutes to work through.


Day one – The What, Why and How of Gamification

Introduction to gamification – what is it? why we should gamify? and how game thinking can be used in course design.

Day two – Design Considerations

What makes a successful gamified learning activity, the available gamification tools and platforms.

Day three – Myths and Potentials

To play or not to play? What gamification can and cannot do? Some practical examples – gamification in action.


Dr Patrick Tran, Educational Designer, UNSW Canberra

Patrick Tran is a data scientist by training, educational designer by choice and educator at heart! Patrick is currently working at the confluence of educational technology, learning analytics and educational research at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra. He holds a PhD in Computer Science and an MBA major in Accounting and Finance, both from University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). He has extensive experience in academia and has published research papers in peer-reviewed conferences and journals. His predominant research interests center around data mining and its applications in cyber security and technology-enabled learning innovations. In recent years, Patrick has expanded his research area to include emerging educational technologies and how gamification can transform traditional education.

Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education Certificate

Go here to learn more on getting recognised for your participation in coffee courses (ANU Staff only).

All are welcome

We welcome all staff, including tutors, demonstrators, professional staff, and academics at the Australian National University and beyond to join us for this course.


Please feel free to contact with any questions.