OU logo

One of my graduate courses required a group project as part of a block about the Learning Design Studio. Our project developed a Google Site for our work. This is a copy of my contributions to the group effort, reformatted for this website. The project starts here.

Note: I reference this article in my blog; see Gamification to increase engagement, motivation, and achievement.

Case study on gamification


Villagrasa, S., Fonseca, D., Redondo, E., and Duran, J. (2014) ‘Teaching Case of Gamification and Visual Technologies for Education’, Journal of Cases on Information Technology, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 38-57 [Online], DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2014100104

The authors of this article wanted to increase student engagement, motivation, and achievement by making class more fun. To do so, they applied game mechanics. With game mechanics:

They wanted to know if gamification increases learning, but they also wanted to know:


GLABS interface (Villagrasa et al, 2014, p. 48); The students found the learning management system (LMS) confusing because it was not integrated into the game, so the designers created a web interface for the LMS. With this interface, a student profile is an avatar, grades are game scores, learning exercises are missions, and course information is an adventure map.



Context in the case study: 

They wanted to increase student engagement, motivation, and achievement by making class more fun. The designers were investigating new technologies, linking them to methodologies and frameworks, and providing a solution for the school and the teachers to use. It seems that the designers were available throughout the initial course to provide some substantial changes as needed.

Comparison with our project: 


Tasks (goals, measures of success) in the case study:

Comparison with our project:


Actions taken by the designers:

  1. Researched and chose appropriate methodologies and techniques (they chose problem-based learning, quest-based learning, learning by doing, and gamification techniques).
  2. Researched and adopted accepted principles for ensuring high student adoption/usage rates for educational technology.
  3. Researched and selected a framework (TPACK).
  4. Identified metrics and ways to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  5. Investigated appropriate technology and tools.
  6. Built the course.
  7. Responded to significant issues with the course design and technology.
  8. Analyzed the results of their work and reflected on lessons learned.

The main thing that went wrong was the LMS. They had chosen one that did not support gamification, and it was too difficult for the students (who felt they were not in an integrated system or course). The designers created a web interface to sit on top of their LMS. This interface supported gamification.


They achieved their goals, but only after fixing the issue with the LMS and its needed interface change.


The authors listed many lessons learned. The lessons most applicable for the designer were:

Next: Case study on virtual worlds