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Course Summary

Playing games is natural for all human beings, they engage us and help us learn while having fun. The question is how can we design our learning activities so as they produce the same level of engagement in our students?

Gamification is the most natural answer! We can use game-design elements in non-game contexts, such as formal education.

Gamification makes the “hard stuff” more fun in education. In this course you will learn about some of its main benefits, such as the fact that it makes learning more engaging and motivating, it is sort of “addictive” but in a positive way! It gives learners the ability to replicate real-life situations, it makes learning visible by using points earned, progress bars, or personalised goal-setting mechanisms among other things. Games that invite critical thinking and problem-solving can improve students’ processing and information retention abilities.

You will explore the dynamics of games, and how to personalise learning experiences using games by letting students set the rules of a learning game, giving them a character or avatar to control in a gamified learning program or helping them create systems to track their own progress.

Some of the strategies we will explore are giving ‘points’ or other currency, assigning a series of tasks to students so as they advance to the next level, reward students with tokens or treasure items or set challenges. You will also discuss how to use engaging virtual worlds, create personal avatars, design curriculum-aligned learning levels they can work through at their own pace, and follow student-friendly progress tracking via points and scoreboards.

For these strategies you will be able to use analogue or digital tools or materials, either way is effective, your choice will depend on the access to technology you have at your school.

The course will very practical, having discussions about the basic elements of theory to then apply them in case studies or practical activities. We will use a project-based methodology where you will need to answer a related driving question by creating a ready-to-use game-based educational activity. Then you will present it to your peers to obtain new ideas and feedback, and then implement it in your classes.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Motivate and guide learners using gamification strategies to improve motivation and academic achievement

  • Foster students’ higher-order thinking skills, such as critical thing, problem solving and creativity.

  • Identify the essential principles of game design

  • Adapt games to educational activities for your classes

  • Use games to promote positive personal and society values.


Day 1: Why gamification?

​-Presentations; Course Introductions

-Team building activities

-Introducing the concept of gamification in education

-Benefits of Gamification

-Examples of gamified learning activities


 ​Day 2: Basic Steps to Gamify your class

​- Dynamics and Mechanics of Games

-Basic game principles such as reward mechanisms, activity loops, habit creation, fun, immersive experience, emerging and branching, storytelling and others.

-Analysis of sample educational games

-Case study: adapt a game you consider has great potential for education purposes.

-Team or individual project: Design an educational game for your class. ​

 Day 3: Higher-Order Thinking Skills with Games

​- Using Games to promote critical and creative thinking with examples


-Mystery games

-Cooperative games


-Team or individual project: Design an educational game for your class. ​

​ Day 4: Personalise Learning Experiences Through Games

​-Setting the game rules by students

-Using avatars or home-brew characters

-Individual progress tracking

-Team or individual project: Design an educational game for your class. ​


Day 5: Teacher Projects

-Project work

-Participants’ presentations on their personal projects and peer feedback

-Final Reflection.

Your Trainer


Dr. Carolina Castro

Carolina is an experienced educator with 21 years of teaching career in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education in Europe, USA and Australia. In her classes, she loves to use gamification, Project-Based Learning and Social and Emotional Learning. For two years she as a lecturer for the Open University of Catalonia she facilitated the topic of gamification as part of her subject, connected to digital technologies, and also tutored some students on this topic in the master thesis.


For the last 5 years, she has trained teachers from Europe, Asia and Australia, and she has collaborated with educational foundations and whole schools around the world. Carolina has a B.A. in English Language and Literature, an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics and Education. Some of her topics of expertise are Gamification, Project-Based Learning, Project-Based Language Learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Digital tools for education, CLIL, Life skills, Pedagogy and E-Pedagogy among others.


She has presented at academic conferences, professional events for teachers and doctoral seminars worldwide, online and face-to-face. 

Essential Info

Duration: 25 hours the face-to-face option and if you hire the blended add-on the number of hours will be 30.

Certificate: A completion certificate will be provided when participants attend a minimum of 80% of the course.

Language: The course will be facilitated in English. Participants need to have a minimum of a B1 to attend.

Activities: Cultural activities will be included for participants in each course.

Schedule: Sessions can take place in the morning (9h to 14h) or the afternoon (15h to 20h). The day by day timetable posted here is tentative, your trainer will send it to you one week before the course begins and she may change it depending on the group needs accordingly.


Blended Add-On: All courses can have an optional blended add-on that consists of 2 videoconference group sessions 2 and 6 weeks after the face-to-face course to follow up on progress and give support for the implementation of the knowledge and skills acquired.

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