Game-Based Learning vs Gamification

Game-Based Learningvs. Gamification

Game-Based Learning and Gamification are two hot topics surrounding the classroom. They may sound like they are the same thing but in reality they are very different from one another.

Game-Based Learning

So what is it? It is where there is a game that is used to help apply principles that were taught. There are specific goals or learning outcomes for the end result of the game. Teachers can use games that are already created such as Minecraft or Oregon Trail. Teachers can create their own games, but creating your own game can be lengthy and pricey. Game-based learning helps students make choices and deal with the outcome [positive or negative] in a risk-free environment. A lot of times students end up learning something above their grade level because they have to apply that concept to succeed in the game.

To think of it simply, it is a game [that is used] to promote learning.


Gamification is where a teacher takes game elements and apply it to a nongame setting. For example, a teacher says the first student to pack up their books and supplies gets a reward. This happens because teachers can take routine tasks and turn them into something new and fun. As we all know doing certain tasks can be tedious and we turn them into something we dread. By using Gamification teachers can boost students’ moods and get their attention! This can encourage students to take action on something or building something.

Simply, it is when something boring and normal is ‘gamified’ into exciting and new.


Both of these concepts are a great addition to the classroom. They both encourage learning. By using these two concepts during school it can improve grades and student’s get to have fun while they are learning [whether they know they are learning or not].


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