Non-Degree / Dates: 24-28 January 2022

Serious games and gamification are different things – serious games are designed to achieve some serious goal, gamification is the use of game elements in a non-game context and not designing full-fledged games. However, there are also a lot of similarities – how to design an engaging experience and what game elements to choose to support this goal. By attending this course you will get theoretical knowledge from both domains (serious games and gamification), but on a practical level, you can choose your preferred practical homework – designing a serious game or gamification.

About Gamification:

Gamification is a process that helps you create interesting, interactive and fun content from the mundane by adding game-inspired elements. The best part about gamification is that it can be applied to many aspects of life, the fields of business, marketing and education being just a few examples.

Adding game elements to your content gives you a chance to widen your engagement and attract a wider audience. The TWS course explores the concept of gamification through real-life examples, and then gives participants the opportunity to develop their own working prototype. Topics covered during this course:

– The nature of gamification and gamification design process
– Examples of gamification
– Generating and selecting ideas for gamification.
– Designing challenges
– Designing intrinsic motivators
– Designing extrinsic motivators
– Design of feedback and progress
– Incorporation of entertaining elements
– Other game elements
– Prototype development
– Prototype presentation and testing

About Serious Games:

Serious games are games designed for a purpose other than just entertainment. This purpose can relate to defence, education, science, health care, emergency management, urban planning, engineering, politics, and so on.

During this intensive course, participants will learn the essentials of designing serious and learning games. Participation in the course does not require programming skills. Topics covered during this course:

– The nature of serious games
– Examples of serious and learning games
– Game design process and roles
– Finding an idea and defining the goal for your serious game
– Gameplay: challenges and actions. Core mechanics
– Design of game assets
– Narrative design in games
– Game development environments

The language of instruction is English, and participants are expected to have a reasonable command of the language.

Why take this online course?

  • The course brings together participants with different backgrounds⁠ — education, art, software development, etc. ⁠— who can learn a lot not only from the instructors but also from each other.

  • The knowledge on using game-design elements and game principles is useful in many fields, including business, marketing, education etc.

  • You get to develop your idea into a working prototype.


The course will take place online using the Canvas Learning Management System and combines live video conferencing with pre-recorded video lectures, as well as individual and group work. Each day (except the last day) will be structured as follows:

11:00–12:30 Live online session (discussion and feedback)
13:00–14:30 Individual work (instructional videos)
15:00–18:00 Creative session (working on your project)
After 18:00 Feedback (asynchronous, written comments given by the teachers, participants do not have to be online)

Time Zone:  UTC/GMT +2 hours (Check the time difference to your location)

Please make sure you have a stable and reliable Internet connection, as well as access to a microphone so you can participate in the video conferencing sessions (a web camera is also recommended).

We encourage all participants to attend the video conference whenever possible, particularly on Days 1 and 5; however, the conferences will also be recorded so those who are unable to attend can view them later. The individual work sessions can be completed at any time during the day, and the videos will be kept available for later perusal.

NB! Other than the live sessions, the schedule is more of a suggestion: participants are free to adjust it based on where in the world they are.


Peadar Callaghan, MA is Chief Executive Officer at Integrated Game Solutions. He graduated from the University of Limerick with an MA in English Language Teaching. Peadar has worked as an educator in a number of countries from South Korea to Saudi Arabia. He has employed games and gamification in much of his work and got his postgraduate degree in Digital Learning Games from Tallinn University.

David Upshall graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a BSc in psychology and completed the Digital Learning Games MSc in 2020. Since then he has worked as a designer for startup businesses, governmental bodies, and universities in Estonia and abroad. David enjoys coming up with new ideas for gamification and serious games and bringing them to life with prototyping.


This course is for teachers, educational technologists, designers, developers, writers, graphic designers, and everyone else who is interested in serious games, game design and/or adding game elements into a nongame environment.

Credit points

Upon full participation and completion of course work students will be awarded 2 ECTS points and a certificate of completion.

Course fee

200 EUR

"What surprised me the most of the workshop was the diversity of backgrounds from the participants. Furthermore, the instructors offered invaluable feedback and were accessible throughout the workshop."

Mauricio, Costa Rica
Gamification/Serious Games (Online edition)

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