Gamification for Student Employability in Higher Education


​This is the first in a series of blogs ​about our activity and association with ​​applying gamification at the University of Brighton (UoB).

On Thursday 13th February over 180 people signed up to attend ​the UoB Connect: Be More launch event at the AMEX stadium in Brighton. UoB Connect is a project led by staff from Brighton Business School in collaboration with the Schools of Education, Environment & Technology, Sport & Service Management, and Media. BBS’ team of final year Student Engagement Champions, which also includes some students studying gamification, supported the event along with student ambassadors from the other participating Schools. Gamification+ team member Kira Downer is in this team, and, along with Pete Jenkins, has been providing ​gamification advice to make the activities more engaging. ​

​This is the third ​year that the Student Engagement Champions have been helping to organise events at BBS. However, it's the first year that gamification students have been specifically asked to be involved. What students learned last year, they immediately have a chance to apply this year, and we are really excited at the results so far! ​​

​Case Study: Implementing Gamification in Higher Education

​This is an incredibly​ unique gamification case-study, due to the students on the gamification module now hav​ing the ability to co-create some aspects of university life for their peers. When we do in-house training we don't often get the chance ​to find out how our training has been used... but we do here!

​At this particular event, the students’ goals were to maximise how many activities attendees took part in, ranging from networking with alumni from their School, to playing a ​game of Spikeball with the SportBrighton team. ​Attendees received cards which they could get stamped ​​by speaking to representatives at different booths.

The idea is to encourage students to get maximum value out of ​their university experience. Students don't always know about the​ benefits that are on offer, and a gamified event like UoB Connect is a​ ​wonderful ​showcase opportunity for students and support staff alike. No more missing out!

​Gamified​ Student Attendance

Encouraging students to ​attend ​and ​engage​​​ in ​extra-curricular ​​​activities (like mentoring, guest lectures and volunteering opportunities) can be a real feat! ​Their entwined nature meant that both aspects have to be complementary to encourage people to come. ​If you have an event with unin​spiring activities then people will not come. ​Meanwhile, not every student has the vocation to sign up for an employability consultation when they first start higher education. An event like UoB Connect could have the student meeting someone who completely changes their life!

​The event had many activities and different ways to get stamps, so students could take part in activities that really piqued their interest. This level of choice was an important consideration; ​ too much choice can ​reduce engagement... too few, and we ​realise: "​We've missed a trick! They've finished all the activities in 10 minutes!"

​What Were the Results?


​We aren't just saying that either, we've got some really cool statistics to share with you:

  • ​95 out of 180 attended, a better than 50% rate! ​When GAMIFICATION+ have ​organised free events in the past, we find that attendance at free events is about 30% of the sign up figure. Great job guys!
  • 73% of participants completed their challenge cards.
  • ​More than 400 conversations happened! Now that's pretty awesome.

​Huge congratulations to the students, the staff, the representatives and everybody who was involved in the event. We are really looking forward to the future events at the University and are very proud of what has been achieved so far. 

​What Went Well​

  • ​Lots of choice for students to complete any activities in any order they wish
  • ​180 students sign ups from 5 different schools
  • ​Gamification appeal to all player types
  • Students will be able to make use of their new skills, connections and employability immediately!
  • ​Proof of concept of a large scale event being gamified

​What ​We Learned

  • ​Having good measurement systems ​makes activities easier to gamify
  • How transferable our skills are: ​we already knew we could organise ​gamification ​events, it's awesome to know that we can also create gami​fied ​events.​​​​​​​

​Thanks for Reading!

​This is the first blog in a series, in which we will elaborate on all of our activity ​with this project. Being​ as involved as we are gives us a great chance to ​share these ​examples with our readers as case studies.​ There will be 6-7 more that we end up writing over the next few months and as the project comes to an end. When we've written these, we'll add them at the end of this ​post in chronological order (may not be the order it was written!) for you to enjoy. 

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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