Some suggested resources. This is a very small sampling of the many resources currently available.

Bell, N. (n.d.) 5 classic game types to gamify your Moodle course. Retrieved from
If you're thinking about adding a storyline, here are five useful classic game approaches. These are just rough outlines - you will need to add all the details to make the story work in your setting. The storyline ideas will work in any setting. For more ideas, see 25 storyline ideas to gamify your course at These are not specifically for English language teaching, but provide plenty of possibilities for creativity.  

Bell, N. (n.d.) How to start gamifying your online course. Retrieved from
If you're creating an online or hybrid course, especially one in Moodle, this will be very useful. See her other pages for tips, too.

Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39 (5), 775-786. Retrieved from
This provides information about limitations to Prensky’s depiction of digital natives and digital immigrants.

Burke, B. (2014). Gamify: How gamification motivates people to do extraordinary things. Bibliomotion.
I haven't read this yet, but plan to do so. Sounds quite interesting.

Catalano, M. (2012). What's the difference between games and gamification? Retrieved from
A look at the difference, some suggestions, and the pitfalls in trying to gamify education.

Class Dojo. (2018). Retrieved from
Platform that includes many gamification elements, such as badging. Free for teachers to use; create a class and invite students.

Extra Credits. (2012). Gamifying education [video file]. Retrieved from
This very fast-paced YouTube video gives reasons why gamifying education could be a good thing.

Figueroa Flores, J.F. (2015). Using gamification to enhance second language learning. Digital Education Review, 27: June. Retrieved from
Scholarly overview of gamification in L2 learning.

Gamification of education. (n.d.). [Video file]. Retrieved from
A somewhat longer (5 minutes), more sedate video than Extra Credits (above), also providing a brief introduction to gamification.

Healey, D. (2018). Games and gamification for language teaching. [PDF] 
A brief look at the difference between game-based learning and gamification (for my online class on Trace Effects and Gamification).

Healey, D. (2019). Advancing Learning: Gamification. [PDF]
White paper on gamification, including a discussion of psychology research and classroom research on gamification.

Juul, J. (2003). The game, the player, the world: Looking for a heart of gameness. Retrieved from
Background about using games in language teaching; definitions of games.

Kapp, K. (2014). What is gamification? [Video file]. Retrieved from
Definition and examples from the author of the book listed below. 9-minute video.

Kapp, K.M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
An interesting and useful read for teachers, trainers, and game developers.

Kelly, T. (2012). Real gamification mechanics require simplicity and, yes, game designers can do it. Retrieved from
Kelly’s seven real gamification mechanics are another approach to thinking about gamification – they go beyond the usual list of game mechanics and talk about what may be really going on.

Kuhn, J. (2019a). Gamifying the classroom, Part I: The basics. Retrieved from
A three-part series on gamification by an English teacher for English teachers.

Kuhn, J. (2019b), Gamifying the classroom, Part II: Core motivations. Retrieved from
Looking at Yu Kai Chou's Octalysis model for gamification, with his 8 core drives.

Kuhn, J. (2019c), Gamifying the classroom, Part III: Gamification tools. Retrieved from
Some suggestions for digital and other tools to start gamifying with.

Manrique, V. (2013a). A simple and easy to use toolkit for gamification design. Retrieved from
A toolkit that provides 35 mechanics, with explanations. You can download them online or pay for a print copy.

Manrique, V. (2013b). Gamification design framework: The SMA model. Retrieved from
How to start: With the goal, actions to achieve the goal, players (students, for us), and system (how the whole thing will work). SMA: Storytelling, Mechanics, Aesthetics

Manrique, V. (2013c). 35 inspiring game examples for gamification mechanics. Retrieved from
This uses examples from different games to discuss game mechanics that can be useful in gamification. Much longer than Kelly (2012b), but gives more information.

Marczewski, Andrzej. (2018). Gamified UK. [Blog]. Retrieved from
Blog on a variety of gamification-related topics. The author creates gamification schemes for business, but his blog includes useful information for educators as well.

Pesche, C. (n.d.). ESL teachers ask: How can I gamify my ESL classroom? Retrieved from
Easy to read list of basic ideas about getting started.

Schell, Jesse (2008). The art of game design. Boca Raton, FL:Taylor & Francis
While not specifically for ELT, this provides an excellent look at creating a game and gamifying.

SCVNGR's Secret Game Mechanics Playdeck:
More for game creators, this explains 47 elements of game mechanics used by game-maker SCVNGR.

TeachThought. (2013). The difference between gamification and game-based learning. Retrieved from
A short and useful reading, but full of intermingled ads

Many thanks to Kodiak Atwood for additional resource suggestions:

Cohen, A. M. (2011). The gamification of education: Why online social games may be poised to replace textbooks in schools. Futurist, 45 (5), 16-17.

Overview of ideas about why it could be useful to gamify education.

Dominguez, A., Saenz-de-Navarrete, J., de-Marcos, L., Fernandez-Sanz, L., Pages, C., & Martinez-Herraiz, J. J. (2013). Gamifying learning experiences: Practical implications and outcomes. Computers & Education, 63, 380-392.

Research and suggestions for teachers interested in gamifying their classes.

Liu, T. Y., & Chu, Y. L. (2010). Using ubiquitous games in an English listening and speaking course: Impact on learning outcomes and motivation. Computers & Education, 55 (2), 630-643.

Research on 7th grade student motivation in classes that used hand-held devices and games/gamified activities.

Ryu, D. (May 01, 2013). Play to learn, learn to play: Language learning through gaming culture. ReCALL, 25 (2), 286-301.

Research on language learning autonomy in gamers who are English language learners.

Badge-making sites from Kai Liu
Previous handouts and PPT
Handout for January 2014 presentation (PDF); January 2014 PPT in PDF format
Handout for August 2013 presentation (PDF)
; August 2013 PPT presentation on Slideshare:
March 2013 PPT presentation on Slideshare:

Creative Commons attribution-non-commercial-share and share alike
Created by D. Healey, with content from Kai Liu and Kodiak Atwood; last updated 28 July 2019.

Deborah Healey,
Apr 3, 2018, 2:42 PM