The University of Arizona

Gaming the Classroom: The Transformative Experience of Redesigning the Delivery of a Political Science Class

Mikael Hellstrom


Game mechanics can motivate users beyond what is normally expected. Research has shown that this technique can be used to enhance the learning experience for students on all educational levels. The paper details the experiences of transforming traditional lecture-based courses in undergraduate political science to gamification and game-based learning, and it presents the reader with a toolkit for how to make such a conversion based on the author’s experiences. An overview of selected scholarly literature on teaching informs the reflection on this transformation. The paper concludes that gamification and game-based learning can provide benefits in political science education when leveraging formative assessment, flipped classrooms, and game-based learning. It also finds that there might be some institutional barriers to the adoption of these tools, primarily associated with the institutionalization of the bell curve as a guideline for the distribution of student grades. The paper ends with some reflections on possible future research areas


Game-based learning; Gamification; Asessment; Political Science education

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