Gamification in Learning

How we apply and use gamified elements as a means of motivating learners and guiding behaviors.

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What is Gamification in Learning?

Gamification is the use of game-like elements and game design applied to a learning system. Just like a video game with points, levels, and badges, gamification in learning is the earning and spending of points, a tiered system of advancement, and the award of badges for the completion of certain sets of projects and exercises.

Game elements such as points are used to motivate learners, to drive learners towards mastery, and to reward when competency has been achieved.

A New World of Learning: Gamification Elements

Inspired by research into gamification in video games, online community development, and economic studies, Qwasar uses 6 elements of gamification in learning. These elements are designed to work together to both direct and motivate learners.

Economies, levels, and skills help learners to navigate their own learning and their new technical world while simultaneously allowing them to feel and take confidence in how far they have progressed and what they’re capable of doing.

The reward that comes with finishing a project, plus the responsibility of using correction points wisely, encourages learners to take ownership of their learning, submit work with minimal errors, and progress through their tracks.

Incorrectly designing a gamification system can have negative effects and results on learner motivation and behaviour. The use of these 6 elements is to encourage learning and to motivate the learner.

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The Gamification in Learning Spectrum

Gamification in learning can range from a simple points system to a sophisticated and science-backed system that aims to fuel learner motivation and impacts learner outcomes.

Not all “gamified” programs or platforms are backed by learning science, psychology, or neuroscience, and thus do not obtain the same outcomes.

Properly designed systems can have a significant impact on learner motivation, duration, and program completion.

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Gamification in Learning: Our Points System

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Earn project or experience points for each project successfully completed.

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To submit a project for review, to be graded, learners spend points.

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Each time a learner completes a peer code review for another learner, they earn points. Learners also earn points each day they log on.

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Learners can also earn points by helping out other learners in the community, answering questions in our forums.

Selected Gamification in Learning Research

Below we share some links to academic research articles or papers on gamification in learning.


Respected author Karl Knapp explores a solid overview of gamification in learning in his book, sharing what works and what doesn’t.

Learning Behaviours

Richard Langers looks at the use of gamification, game attribute taxonomies, and psychological theories.


Part of the Advances in Game-based Learning series, Gamification in Learning defines and explores the category.

Gamification to Encourage High Quality Code

Explore this article by ACM on using gamification to motivate learners and produce better quality code.


Learn more about how gamification is incorporated into e-learning for programming courses.

Gamification for Programming

Take a look at this article on how gamification is useful for programming in particular.

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Our Platform

Check out the platform that drives all of our project-based learning programs.

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Explore the different programs available in the Qwasar universe of learning.

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Peer Learning

Learning from peers, peer code reviews, and working in groups is a core part of our programs here at Qwasar.