Busy teachers know that time to be creative and enhance student experience can be hard to come by. 2019-20 holidays provided the time needed for me to code student enhancement request to my side-hustle https://gameof5.com - a gamified learning management system.

Admin (teacher) enhancements:

  1. set # of students on leaderboard
  2. set name of miscellaneous achievments (formerly quiz area - I call mine Quest XP )
  3. set whether students can comment on lessons and teacher comments
  4. archive student data and reset the points system to start a new game

Student enhancements:

  1. recent activity feed
  2. upgraded user interface

Early returns indicate that my 90 students are excited by the changes and ready to start a new game.

My Cohort21 project is to develop a structural gamification Learning Management System that empowers learner agency. My software is called gameof5. The name is a play on the term 'gamify' - that domain was already taken!.

Students are sometimes the roughest critics. They often give their peers worse grades than the teachers. It was with some trepidation that I submitted gameof5.com to them for feedback.

By and large the feedback was positive and I received many good ideas for enhancement of the product. It was almost more interesting to see what the negative reviews were.

To see the full survey and graphs (My Action Plan) click on the graphic below.

Action Plan
Click me to access My Action Plan


Content Gamification

Content gamification is awesome. Engaging your students in an activity is fun and works. I am particularly fond of using Minecraft to do this. Here is an example:

My UCC students presenting at the 2016 ESRI Canada National User Conference.

Structural Gamification

The bigger picture is empowering the learning of your students for a full year using a gamified learning management system. Many LMS on the market try to implement this. This means, students use a platform where access to resources, ongoing feedback, badging and level ups for encouragement hopefully result in student engagement and empowerment.

Here is a link to a blog comparing some of them.

I find them expensive and slow. So I am trying to make my own FREE GAMIFIED LMS called http://gameof5.com.

Click on the animated gif below to see what the student user interface looks like ...

  1. A leader board to show you who the top 5 students are in your class with their XP total
  2. Access to step by step lessons with links, keywords and expectations
  3. Your level and access to all levels with XP
  4. Graphic class by class XP barometer
  5. Quiz/homework barometer
  6. Top comments feed
  7. Top skills badges






I am currently working on gameof5.com a gamified learning management system to help empower student learning. This is my second structural gamification initiative.

A few years ago the head of Creativity Action Service (formerly known as community service) asked me to write some software to get kids involved in tracking and completing their service hour requirements for their diplomas.

Here is a Youtube tutorial of the CAS Dashboard. The system eventually included badging for submission and completion of hours.

1 Comment

Currently I am beta testing my Cohort21 side hustle; gameof5.com with all 5 of my classes. My early impression is that students seem engaged by the gamified learning management system.

They genuinely seem excited to score points and able to find teacher posted resources. Level-up days seem exciting  for most as they are accompanied by celebrations of student achievement and Halloween candy!


As the developer and promoter of the system, I would say that wouldn't I. I am sending out an anonymous survey tomorrow. Gulp. I hope they like it. I will post analysis 🙂


Hi, I've been teaching for 20+ years. I love it. My first day I puked I was so scared 🙂

Learning is a life-long process that comes from solving problems, taking risks and being excited by new things. Sometimes it can take courage. Doing the same comfortable thing over and over is the opposite of learning.

Other than being an INTERESTED person, the greatest skill you can have to support your learning, and personal improvement is problem solving.

My best learning experience was figuring out (after countless hours of trial and error) that I could program computers.

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