Social Gamification Works! —OR— How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Teaching

IEEE German Education Conference 2022 (GeCon)

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In ICT alone, the human-resource gap in Europe approached 1,000,000 at the beginning of the 2020s. Thus, "Every student counts!" is a grand challenge in education (GCE), horizon 2035. We posit that social gamification, which we define as using social and gaming elements to successfully engage students with the curriculum, is a useful tool in solving the GCE. In this keynote, you will learn how you can use gamification to improve university teaching and learning. The interactive session will start from Alexandru's experience using gamification with his teaching teams at the technical university TU Delft and at the research university Vrije Universiteit, both in The Netherlands — for many years, for several BSc and MSc courses, with higher passing rates and student satisfaction than in the years without gamification, and with high student participation and demonstrable engagement. The discussion will focus on gamification mechanics and dynamics, and on activating students from talented to simply disinterested. I hope to convince you gamification is not just the BLT sandwich of higher education; there may also be brownies.

BIO Alexandru Iosup is a full professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), a high-quality research university located in the Netherlands. He is the tenured chair of the Massivizing Computer Systems research group at the VU and of the SPEC-RG Cloud group. His leadership and innovation in education led to various awards, including the prestigious Netherlands Higher-Education Teacher of the Year in 2015. His work in distributed systems and ecosystems has received prestigious recognition, including membership in the (Young) Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands, the 2016 Netherlands ICT Researcher of the Year award, and a PhD from TU Delft. Contact Alexandru at or @AIosup, or visit