Gamification means using game design and game mechanics in situations that don't typically use them.
For The Alliance Labs I created a system of badges to use with their students. The badges are also useful for potential employers because they can target workers with specific skills, such as how to install WordPress. Badges make identification easier.
On these jobs I have done all the graphic design and production myself.
Microcredentials are an effective way to motivate and mark achievements for learners. Designing a badge system requires understanding and implementing the learning objectives first. Once the objectives are clear the next step is matching them with a badge. Each badge should have no more than 5 objectives.
A badge is not simply a badge, but a whole system of documents and databases, often with video, multi-part quizzes, and performance reviews.
Each week the student's names are entered in the current week. This is the feedback mechanism. We updated the site once a week. If a student did not do their homework they do not get to advance a space.
Each week the zombies moved on space to the right. If the zombies catch up to the student, then they are out of the class.
Why it Works
The simple mechanism of presenting a challenge (don't get eaten) with visual feedback (website that was updated) which acts as a leaderboard provided engagement even though it wasn't metaphorically related to the content. Another component is the publicity of the feedback data. It is essentially a leaderboard, or perhaps more accurately, a loserboard.
Former students still refer to Zombie Chase favorably. For them it made learning web development fun. No one ever wanted to get eaten by the zombies.