Coursera Gamification Course Syllabus

Fall 2012

Prof. Kevin Werbach (@kwerb)
The Wharton School, Univ. of Pennsylvania


Each item on this syllabus represents one video lecture segment, approximately 7-12 minutes in length. For further information, or to sign up, please visit the course landing page. Registration is free and the course begins on August 27, 2012.

1] What is Gamification?

After the introductory material on the course, the first topic we need to cover is what gamification actually means. As we’ll see, there isn’t universal agreement. However, there are a set of concepts and examples that are clearly within the scope of gamification.

2] Games

You can't understand gamification without understanding games. This unit explains why the concept of games is deeper than most people realize, and the game-based foundations for gamification.


3] Game Thinking

The ways game designers approach their craft is also the way to tackle a gamification project. Seeing situations through the lens of game design is an essential skill in this area.

4] Game Elements

The raw materials of games and gamification are called game elements. We'll earn how to break down a game into its constituent parts and apply them to create gamified systems.


5] Psychology and Motivation (I)

Gamification is a technique for motivation, so it ties very directly into psychology. This unit introduces the behavioral psychology concepts relevant to gamification.

6] Psychology and Motivation (II)

The previous unit explains the benefits of a behavioral approach to gamification; this one identifies the risks and alternatives.

WEEK 3 HOMEWORK: Quiz; Written assignment part 1

7] Gamification Design Framework

Gamification done well is a form of design. This unit provides a six-step framework to apply to any gamification project.

8] Design Choices

Saying that gamification is a form of design means that it should involve a creative, human-centered, thoughtful process to achieve the best results. This unit identifies important considerations and options.

WEEK 4 HOMEWORK: Quiz; Written assignment part 2

9] Enterprise Gamification

Particular challenges and opportunities when applying gamification inside an organization.

10] Social Good and Behavior Change

How to apply gamification to make the world better, or to improve people's well-being, primarily through behavior change techniques.

WEEK 5 HOMEWORK: Written assignment part 3 (Final Project)

11] Critiques and Risks

There are many legitimate limitations, concerns, and dangers from gamification. Some of them can be avoided through thoughtful design, but others must be considered directly in any implementation.

12] Beyond the Basics

The final unit details gamification-related techniques that go beyond those covered throughout the course, and concludes with a look toward the future.