Making learning engaging

At ALT-C a couple of weeks ago, myself, Alex Moseley and a virtual Juliette Culver, presented a session called Back three spaces and roll again, which aimed to take the six elements of game engagement identified during the ARGOSI project and show how they could be applied to make learning more engaging. In a gaming session. Exemplifying all six elements. In an hour. No tall order then.

Alex provides an excellent write-up of how we (I think) managed to pull it off, so I’m not going to talk about the session any more here, except to highlight the six elements, the examples we gave of how each element can be used in games, and show how we managed to embed each within the session to apply to a learning context. (Note that we don’t argue that these factors are exclusive to games.)

Engagement element Games example Application to session
Community Guilds and team working in MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft Working in teams
Competition Use of leader-board, as in in Katie Piatt’s Never Ending Uni Quiz Scoring and prizes
Completion Collecting map pieces, as in ViolaQuest Points for achieving all six factors in answers
Creativity Building modifications in role-playing games, as in Judy Robertson’s work with NeverWinter Nights Use of achievements
Puzzle-solving Solving puzzles to progress levels, as in The Great History Conundrum Use of problems to be solved with constraints
Narrative Plot-driven alternate reality games, such as World Without Oil Use of scenarios


  1. Katie Piatt

    That’s a great little table to refer back to – thanks for posting it (and thanks for the name check, competitive as I know I am, I am delighted to be the ‘competition’ example!)

  2. nicola (Post author)

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