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University of Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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Gamification is the application of game elements and digital game design techniques to non-game problems, such as business and social impact challenges. This course will teach you the mechanisms of gamification, why it has such tremendous potential, and how to use it effectively. For additional information on the concepts described in the course, you can purchase Professor Werbach's book For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business in print or ebook format in several languages.


  • Gamification and Games
    • Gamification is a new field, but games are ancient. In this first module, we'll look at what gamification is, why organizations are applying it, and where it comes from. While there isn’t universal agreement on the scope of the field, a set of concepts are clearly representative of gamification. The second lesson explains why the concept of games is deeper than most people realize, and how game design serves as a foundation for gamification.
  • Deconstructing Games
    • What exactly does it mean to apply game design principles in non-game contexts? In this module, we'll discuss how game designers approach their craft, and how to see any situation through the lens of game design. Then we'll examine the raw materials of games and gamification, known as game elements. We'll earn how to break down a game into its constituent parts and apply them to create gamified systems.
  • Motivation and Psychology
    • Gamification is a technique for motivation, so it ties very directly into psychology. This unit introduces the major psychological concepts relevant to gamification. The first lesson focuses on behavioral approaches and reward design; the second identifies the risks and alternatives to this approach.
  • Design
    • Gamification done well is a form of design. This module describes the design process, and provides a six-step framework to apply to any gamification project. The second lesson identifies important considerations and options for developing creative, human-centered, thoughtful gamification solutions.
  • Applications
    • This module describes particular challenges and opportunities when applying gamification in two contexts: within an organization, and in social impact or behavior change environments.
  • Gamification in Perspective
    • There are many legitimate limitations, concerns, and dangers from gamification. Some of them can be avoided through thoughtful design, but others must be considered directly in any implementation. The final lesson details gamification-related techniques that go beyond those covered throughout the course, and concludes with a look toward the future.

Taught by

Kevin Werbach


4.5 rating, based on 58 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 2414 ratings

Start your review of Gamification

  • Anonymous
    Werbach's lectures are great. I really enjoyed watching them and taking useful notes. Most of the time he is talking about obvious things, but for some reasons people miss those things while working on gamified systems in real life. Course materials…
  • School is Broken
    Kevin Werbach really integrates his content into his lectures, which are interesting and full of real-world examples. He even “gamifies” his lectures a bit by telling students to look for a hidden code in the background of his lectures. Lectures are…
  • Life is Study
    Gamification provides an overview of using game elements in non-game contexts. The primary purpose of gamification is to give people extra encouragement to do something that they may not be adequately motivated to do on their own. For instance, a bu…
  • grace_4r
    Absolutely delightful experience. Interesting, engaging, and fun couse. Great videos and examples such as piano stairs (watch other finalist's work on this site, it's quite amazing). Short sci-fi film &quo…
  • Nan Halberg
    Professor Werbach presents a series of lectures that go into real depth about gamification, what it is, the psychology and research behind it, and implications for developers and people interested in the topic. I'm not an online gamer so am not very familiar with basics such as points, badges, leaderboards, and levelling up. Examples of games and gamification are plentiful in the course so it's easy to follow the material. (I became interested in gamification after reading 'Reality is Broken' by Jane McGonigal.)
    Professor Werbach is enthusiastic, scholarly but engaging, and has put together a very professional MOOC. He could teach other professors a lot about online learning.
  • If you are someone who is just looking to learn more about the concepts of gamification and how it is applied, this course is an excellent introduction. It has been a while since I took the course, but gamification as an idea has stuck with me. The information is presented in a an engaging way by Professor Werbach and the workload is not that difficult, but engaging enough.

    If you are looking for something that is going to teach you how to practically apply the principles of gamification, this probably isn't what you are looking for.
  • Caryn Swark
    The Gamification course was really a great place to come into Coursera. Werbach is an engaging speaker and is very comfortable with speaking to the camera. His lectures are informative and interesting, and often entertaining as well. I felt like I learned a lot taking this course, and I'd already done a lot of background research on gamification and games based learning. It wasn't an education course, but it gave me some fantastic ideas.
  • Anonymous
    Very engaging class. The professor really cared about the subject matter. The requirements were a combination of weekly quizzes, three written assignments, and a final -- pretty similar to what a classroom based course would have. I wish the final project counted more because it was a practical application of everything in the course.
  • Anonymous
    Kevin is simply awesome. Took his MOOC on january. Something bloomed inside me and now I'm studying a gamification master. Love it =)
  • Anonymous
    My first experience with online education. Couldn't think of a better first impression. This was challenging and pleasurable. I'm really proud of having being a student in this class.
  • I really enjoyed this course because it was well prepared, the professor is really knowledgeable, the assignments were challenging, and the quizzes and exams did test what I learned.
  • Taiz Dzworniakiewscz De Araújo
    Gamification provides an overview of using game elements in non-game contexts. The primary purpose of gamification is to give people extra encouragement to do something that they may not be adequately motivated to do on their own.
  • Sagar Ladhwani
    The course excellent analyzes and explains all the concepts relating to Human Psychology in the context of interaction and involvement with Game Elements. Not just from an academic and theoretical subject point of view but the course will also help the students to understand the impact of real-world strategies adopted by governments and organisations world-wide. A must do course for everyone!

    For few amazing examples and other details, check out this:
  • Anonymous
    Outstanding. Top ranking class. Well prepared, well presented, engaging delivery. The professor is so good he took me from not knowing what the word meant and floundering in the first quiz, to excelling in the projects and applying course principles to real life. I recommend this course to anyone interested in hands on practical information about what motivates people.
  • Anonymous
    I've already finish the course back in 2014 I believe, and I'm taking the course once again, just because it's great and I'll review the lectures to keep the concepts and techniques fresh!! GREAT MOOC, I really liked it, it's full with great info and Prof. Werbach made the experience great.
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    Marta Serena
    Very instructive. A course absolutely necessary for any activity with groups work or to improve customer relationship. Ease to learn .Muy instructivo. Un curso absolutamente necesario para cualquier actividad con grupos de trabajo o mejorar las relaciones con los clientes. Facil de aprender
  • Reaaaaally cool course! Detailed explanation to gamification design from concept to application in business and many other sectors. Exercises are not easy, and course project is also challenging. That's the Wharton-style course!
  • Anonymous

    My name is Ivanei Nunes, I am an educator in Brazil, I work in a large network of schools with more than 90 thousand students, my specialty is technology. I would like to improve myself in gamification.
  • Anonymous
    Kevin's enthusiasm and large use of visualization are definitely the keys to make students like me to join and stay in the class, easy to follow while learning important business techniques.
  • I really liked this course. The grading rubric for the assignments might be improved, but the course was insightful and fun.

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