EPIC Academy

What is Gamification?

It’s important to distinguish between gamification and using games for learning.  Gamification is the application of game mechanics to non-gaming situations.  If you’re still confused, my friend, Steve Isaacs, has written a beautiful article for ASCD that outlines the differences:  The Difference Between Gamification and Game-Based Learning.

What makes gamification valuable is not experience points, levels, leaderboards, or badges.  Those are minor features of a good game and certainly not what makes one “good.”  What’s valuable is the incorporation of elements like:

These are much more challenging elements to add to your instructional design than simply creating a fancy badge or a leaderboard.  But, you can do it and the results are worthwhile!

EPIC Academy Resources:

An Overview of EPIC Academy

The EPIC Academy Player Guide

Our Current Quest Tree – a map of all of the quests, achievements, and badges available to teachers.  (Doesn’t include secret quests!)

What’s New in EPIC 2.0?

In 2016, we’re re-launching EPIC Academy after a successful pilot with lots of upgrades including new quests, badges, and ways for teachers to interact.  Here are a few things we’ve added:



In Development:

Tools to Help You Transform Your Class into A Game

Full-Featured Tools:

3DGameLab  [NO LONGER ACTIVE] – developed by Drs. Lisa Dawley and Chris Haskell, this is an LMS-like tool built on the concept of quest-based learning.  It is an easy-to-use tool that truly supports choice-driven instructional design.  I definitely recommend this tool!! 

HMH Classcraft – add student characters and course management with roleplay game-style elements.

Badge Management:

Credly – platform for developing and issuing badges that can be shared publicly.

Mozilla Backpack – an open platform for managing and sharing digital badges.

Creating Badges with Google Sheets – by Alice Keeler – a how-to guide for creating a badging system using Google Sheets – Also see her guide here:  Creating A Level Up For Your Students.

Download a clean copy of Alice’s spreadsheet complete with instructions here.

Let’s Connect!

My passion is working with educators to help them grow!  Let’s connect!

On Twitter:  @lucasgillispie
On Skype:  lucas.gillispie (introduce yourself when connecting so I don’t think you’re one of those people…)


The ideas behind EPIC Academy are designed to inspire others to change the way we approach teacher professional development.  Feel free to use any of the ideas with your students or teachers in your district.  However, if you do, please give attribution!  EPIC Academy is shared under a Creative Commons License.