There is a wide range of learning theory that relates to using game principles in the classroom.

Below are links to posts on this site that feature some of these learning theories; they focus on how to use gamification in education to engage students, increase their motivation, and support their development as lifelong learners. Next to the posts’ titles in parentheses are the people/person related to the theory.

  1. Where is the “magic circle of play”? (Johan Huizinga)
  2. Games and 21st century skills (John Seely Brown, Nichole Pinkard, Diana Rhoten, Mimi Ito, Katie Salen, Henry Jenkins)
  3. Use ARCS to motivate learners (John M. Keller)
  4. Grit, game-based learning, and learner success (Angela Duckworth)
  5. Learning through scaffolding and social interactions (Lev Vygotsky)
  6. Motivate students to motivate themselves (Edward Deci & Richard Ryan)
  7. Which basic desires motivate you and your students? (Steven Reiss)
  8. Successful gamification needs these three things (Sebastian Deterding)
  9. Probe, hypothesize, reprobe, rethink (& repeat) (James Paul Gee)
  10. Experience flow for optimal learning (Mihály Csíkszentmihályi)
  11. How gamification and crowdsourcing led to a medical breakthrough (the Foldit team)
  12. Design game-inspired multimedia using these principles (Richard Mayer)
  13. Multimodality makes games accessible, engaging, and meaningful (Gunther Kress)
  14. Are you part of a “community of practice”? (Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger)
  15. How do people construct meaning while learning? (Jerome Bruner)

More will be added on an ongoing basis. We look forward to your comments and contributions to the conversation!