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Adventure Pedagogy

Ways of gamifying learning

The innovation takes a holistic approach to game based learning. Adding game elements into teaching in any subject gives students the opportunity to influence their own learning in an inspirational way.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100






March 2017
I had a lot of experimental ideas in my mind, but above all, how gamification could increase students' school motivation.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Adventure Pedagogy uses a lot of game methods, which make learning dynamic, goal oriented and offers exciting experiences. Gamifying introduces game-like elements, such as storytelling, scoring and winning awards into learning.

Adventure pedagogy has a positive impact on education, for example by sparking interest, creating feelings of communality and increasing activity.

The role of the teacher is to lead the game. The teacher needs to think about what is being gamified in teaching, to take make a clear structure for the instruction, guide students and make sure that common rules are being followed.

Gamifying motivates students to learn. The teacher organizes instruction so that a prerequisite for doing well in the game is learning. The students have clear goals, which they will aim to achieve during the game. The tasks in the game can be solved with, for example, the help of a textbook and student assessment is done based on the game.

The students are also allowed to be creative and use their imagination for problem solving in the game. Playing is often communal, and team play can be made a prerequisite for doing well in the game. Different roles can be assigned to the students, which enables flexible distribution of work within a group, and each one has the opportunity to choose a role that is appropriate considering their own strengths.

This model of adventure pedagogy has been trialed at the Poikkilaakso Elementary School in 2013 and in the Vallila Elementary School for the first time in 2014. The teacher felt that they had reached a dead end in their work and began to wonder how gamification could increase school motivation for students. How could students actually influence their studies? How could the subjects be linked to the students' everyday life? And in what ways could study skills be practiced?

The teacher had a lot of experimental ideas in mind and started to develop ideas in which students’ learning progress could be followed in the same way as characters in a game. The teacher became acquainted with adventure pedagogy, which soon began to feel like a good approach.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


The innovation makes it easy to add fun-filled elements to traditional learning content.


Learning becomes fun and students’ learning motivation increases.


Gamification can be widely applied to different learning content, so the innovation can be implemented regardless of which curriculum is in use.


Implementation steps

Consider what it is you want to gamify
Game elements can be added into different lessons. It is easier for a teacher to add gaming techniques to just a small part of the lessons at first. "Keep it simple" is a good rule of thumb. Starting small is a good idea.

Gamifying can begin in maths, for example, in practicing times tables; in physical education in the development of motor skills; in mother tongue and literature in parts of speech or in the analysis of characters. So first decide, where you could try out gamification.

Tell a story and challenge the students to play as a team
Gamification can begin by challenging students to study by playing against a common opposition.

In practice, for example:

In the story mathematical robots challenge the class. The robots can be defeated through the help of mathematical learning content. Math robots are lead by their commander and are in the school yard jeering at the kids and challenging them.

The teacher explains the rules of the game: practicing math and challenging robots. Work as a pair or group: your pair helps and the group supports. Defeating robots can be done, for example, by practicing times tables or by exceeding a certain score on a test.

Make the goals clear
Present the goals clearly to the students. It is important to highlight what is being learned and what is being assessed.

In practice, for example:

The teacher sets life points or health points for robots. The teacher can decide what score students have to get in order to defeat the robot. If the robot has eight life points, the students will have to score nine points in the test. Students can also be divided into groups in which case the total score of the group is assessed.

Keep score
Write down the students’ scores so they can continue the game.

In practice, for example:

For each robot you beat, you can glue the robot’s symbol to a booklet or receive a small certificate, etc.

You can use the images of these robots and write down the "life points" of the robots next to them.

Get ready for the next challenge
The game can be developed further. The points needed to overtake the robots can grow bringing different levels to the game.

Like in a number of games, you will end up with a nemesis. Defeating it can give you a very high score. In order to win, students are challenged for more demanding performances. Perhaps the next time robots are challenged, the contents of other subjects, such as sports skills, are needed.

When the whole unit or game ends, students can be awarded diplomas for their work.

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