Game-Based Learning with Makers Empire

Elements of gamification and game-based learning can be highly effective in enhancing classroom learning and delivering genuinely valuable benefits for students and teachers.

In this page, we share some of the ways Makers Empire has used gamification in our 3D design app to create engaging learning experiences for students and help improve learning outcomes.

In-App Training Lab

Whether you’re a student, teacher or home user, a visit to the Training Lab is the best way to learn the basic 3D design tools and skills needed to start designing in Makers Empire 3D.

The step-by-step tutorials are designed to be interactive and easy to follow for learners of mixed literacy levels.

The new-look Training Lab opens onto three doors:

  1. Video Room – watch video tutorials and tips
  2. Basic Tutorials – learn how to use the Makers Empire tools
  3. Pro Tutorials – more advanced tutorials to make the most of the design tools

In-App Challenge Courses

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D design app curriculum-aligned to mars design challenges

Makers Empire’s Challenge Courses are accessed through Challenge Central in the Makers Empire app. Each course is carefully aligned to curriculum outcomes and is designed to be completed over a series of lessons. Teachers, for example, might plan to have their students work through a Challenge Course for one lesson per week over a term. Over that term, students will be addressing all aspects of the Design and Technologies curriculum without teachers needing to do any extra planning. Each course contains four different activities: 

  1. Videos: we introduce information and ideas. 
  2. Quizzes: students test their knowledge and understanding in a Game Show style multiple-choice quiz.
  3. Pro-training tutorials: students are led step-by-step to design some cool things and learn new skills. 
  4. Design challenges: students are given an open-ended design challenge or problem to solve.

In-App Maze Mania Game

A game creator within the Makers Empire 3D design app, Maze Mania lets students create their own 3D mazes for their friends and peers to try to complete. 

When students create or play mazes in Maze Mania they are:

  • Learning to manipulate 3D objects and improve their spatial abilities in an immersive, highly engaging 3D environment;
  • Formulating a hypothesis and considering probability as they navigate mazes;
  • Experiencing the testing cycle with an instant feedback loop.
  • Ensuring that the design of their maze meets certain design criteria: there must be a start and finish point, and it must have a solution; and
  • Observing the features of other popular mazes and iterating on their own creation in order to get a place in the ‘Hot’ gallery.

8 Ways Students Can Benefit From Gamification

Makers Empire 3D is specialised 3D modelling software carefully designed to help K-8 students develop Design Thinking skills in order to solve real-world problems. Our 3D design app and Learning by Design program were the subject of a 12-month Macquarie University study into primary schools makerspaces, so we are confident that our solutions for schools deliver authentic, evidence-based learning.

Having said that, at Makers Empire, we are convinced that some pretty important and helpful things happen when we play video games that also correlate with effective learning behaviours. So we’ve built the gamification aspects of Makers Empire around eight key elements…

Levelling up a Growth Mindset with Game-Based Learning

In this post, we will look at how Makers Empire has borrowed from the gaming world to encourage the development of a growth mindset as students engage with our 3D design software and learning program.

Makers Empire has introduced a game-like interface where students ‘level up’ and are rewarded for their efforts and perseverance as 3D designers.

The more active students are within the software and the more risks they take by trying new tools and ideas, the more tokens they earn to build up their design tools and repertoires.

Here are our top 10 messages that show why this approach can help to build the growth mindsets of our young designers.

What Teachers Say About Makers Empire