Glover (2013) talks about learning as a participatory process, and suggests that there could be significant benefits from incorporating games concepts with education. With that in mind, we created and delivered a staff development session, ‘The Crys – TEL Maze’, designed to not only offer staff the opportunity to experience technology and gamification as students themselves, but also to inform their own practice.
The Crys-TEL maze was originally delivered as part of TELFest, the institution’s annual week long exploration, dissemination and reflection of TEL activity across all faculties. Using gamification as a method to stimulate staff development enabled a unique experience for staff, and fostered a healthy spirit of competition. Agapito et al (2014) describes how gamification taps directly into a human’s fundamental desire for recognition, reward, collaboration, and self-expression. These were elements that we aspired to combine in creating this session, making it fun for the delegates, as well as giving them serious learning and development outputs.
Gonzalez (2013) discusses how gamified learning provides “immediate feedback and direct consequences of actions”. This was something we wanted to build on in each task within The Crys-TEL maze; requiring delegates to complete a number of challenges as a group, whilst attempting to “solve” a pressing learning and teaching issue. The tasks included challenging attendees common misconceptions around the use of technology, and taking part in an active learning task – a treasure hunt, to discover ways in which they can use the physical teaching space to engage their learners.
This fun concept will hopefully allow attendees to consider different ways of using a gamified approach to deliver staff development. This session will showcase examples of appropriate use of technology, and will challenge colleagues to think creatively in ways of providing content to their learners. This short presentation will consist of a retrospective view of The Crys-TEL Maze. Incorporating an overview of the session, our learning through the process of designing the tasks, and subsequent changes we made. There will be a showcase of staff interviews, feedback, attendee engagement, and the chance to experience part of the “maze” as well.
Agapito, j., Casano, j. & Martinez, j. (2014). Xiphias: A Competitive Classroom Control System To Facilitate The Gamification Of Academic Evaluation Of Novice C++ Programmers. Retrieved March 6, 2017,
Glover, I. (2013). Play As You Learn: Gamification As A Technique For Motivating Learners. In: HERRINGTON, Jan, COUROS, Alec And IRVINE, Valerie, (Eds.) Retrieved March 6, 2017,
Gonzalez, C. & Area, M. (2013). Breaking The Rules: Gamification Of Learning And Educational Materials. In Proceedings Of The 2Nd International Workshop On Interaction Design In Educational Environments. Retrieved March 6, 2017,