Can we Gamify math?


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    Gamification is the process by which game elements, like competition and badges, are used in conjunction with other tasks to increase motivation and engagement. Games have emerged as a powerful tool for teachers due to their ability to provide students with a hands-on method to engage with the curriculum. For educators, gamification can be applied to a variety of subjects, including math, to increase student’s motivation and subsequently increase student proficiency. Gamifying math lessons does not have to be difficult; teachers can use a variety of techniques to add game elements to their courses.

    Educators primarily use one approach for gamifying math; they incorporate math-based games into the existing curriculum by inserting them into relevant lessons to replace less engaging content. There are several game elements that are of particular importance to the motivation and engagement of students including competition, rewards, cooperation, self-driven pace, and feedback. These elements can be found in most video and board games. One very popular video game that can be utilized in the classroom is Minecraft (

    The specific tasks that students were required to complete for their math units included mapping out the spaces for each animal’s exhibit area, calculate a staff budget, and develop a general budget for the zoo construction. Students completed the work for the project during their weekly math lab sessions. Teachers can easily apply the concepts from this example to other classes by adding the Minecraft gameplay to important math lessons.

    The key to designing gamified math lessons is that the course content should be engaging for students.

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