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Suite 1: Game Based Learning

Fill in the blanks

Course Code: ODSG01

LENGTH: 30 mins


  • 2.2 – Content selection and organisation
  • 2.6 – Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • 3.4 – Select and use resources
  • 4.1 – Support student participation

Divided into 3 parts, this session is designed to give you:

1. an overview of the theoretical concepts behind Gamification in education and provide an explanation around the reasoning behind this movement in the education sector

2. guidance and support to build your own game in the SMART Learning Suite and then explore how teachers can share this learning event into their classrooms. 

3. the opportunity to apply your knowledge and share that with other teachers in the PAVE Academy Network. 


A ‘Fill in the Blanks’ is a fantastic game in the SMART Learning Suite that requires students to select appropriate words from a selection of options and place them in a phrase, sentence or paragraph so that the outcome makes sense. Designed to test a students comprehension, composition, deduction and memory, this quick and fun game can be a fantastic formative assessment tool used throughout a students learning journey.

  • An introduction to the concept
  • Expanding your understanding
  • Knowledge Check
  • Building this Game in SMART Learning Suite
  • Using this Game in your classroom
  • Knowledge Check
  • Exploration
  • Course completion
  • Getting your certificate

Let's begin

Part 1: Theoretical Background


Gamification in education is about increasing student engagement and learning by including game-like elements in learning.

Good games actively engage the user through the application of knowledge and skills like problem solving, experimentation, exploration and rethinking the objective and approaches to implementation of learning to achieve goals.

If you look at games throughout history, regardless of whether they are digital games like Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Halo or Need for Speed, to board games like Monopoly or Pandemic, they are goal or progression based, have clearly defined rules and are more often then not based around a story or story elements. 

These elements, accompanied by instant feedback, can create a highly engaging environment for student that can enhance their focus and motivation as well as providing them with a sense of freedom to apply their learning, to try, fail and explore. 

To create effective games, designers use tools, often called “Game Mechanics” to create an actively engaging game and these game mechanics are now starting to be leveraged in Games Based Learning activities for students learning in the classroom. 

Lets now take a look at the 5 key game mechanics and explore how they are being used to help student learning.



Options are removed from the answer section once a student has successfully identified which answer fits into which space in the statement.  Rewards can also be triggered as a formative assessment tool, while the game is running or as a summative assessment at the end.


Students who may find this task difficult can implement a trial and error strategy which can eventually lead them towards the correct answer that slots into the overall statement. This strategy can trigger metacognitive practices around “why” some answers fit better than others. 


This game has been beautifully designed. Lots of bright colours and fantastic animations make it highly engaging for students of any age. 

With studies showing that we are spending on average 7 hours and 7 minutes a week gaming, and with the benefits outweighing the limitations, the gamification movement is looking at how we can leverage this into education.


Each game that we explore in this suite of on demand courses will link to different pedagogical approaches, and we have presented them as 3 pillars. Each pillar below will provide you with a brief overview of how it relates to the game we are discussing as well as providing you with further reading on the concept to assist you with your continued development and understanding. 


Where the the game has been set up to provide instant feedback, students can assess answers that are incorrect, think about why they might be incorrect and then ‘try again. In the event the feedback is set for at the end of the task, students can review their answers and then make adjustments where they were incorrect to ensure they successfully complete the task.


There are 2 forms of feedback: instant feedback where correct answers slot into the  statement and incorrect answers shoot back into the list of answers & end of activity feedback where students can slot answers in the statement and solutions are provided at the end of the activity. Either way, students get timely feedback that can shape their future learning.


Evaluating their understanding of text and how it can be applied to the overall message being conveyed in a statement,  student choice of words can strengthen a their ability to draw conclusions and use information to solve problems in a text. It can be a  powerful formative assessment tool that can also trigger metacognitive practices in the learning environment. 

If you would like to read more about the 3 pillars we have supplied links to resources below to help expand your understanding and knowledge. 

Supporting Documentation & Articles

Getting Started with Metacognition
By: Cambridge Assessment Internal Education

Supporting Documentation & Articles

Seven Keys to Effective Feedback
By: Greg Wiggins

Supporting Documentation & Articles

Critical and Creative Thinking:
By: Australian Curriculum

In this video “Gamifying Education – How to make your classroom truly engaging” by Extra Credits, we will be looking at how rewards and incentives in classrooms don’t have to be cheap tack-on for the sake of “gamification”. They can empower students to take charge of their educational goals.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video. 

Video Length: 9.30min


Below you will find 5 True/False question cards. 

Designed to review the content that was covered in Part 1 of this course, you need to reflect on the learning that we have covered thus far, answer the question in your mind and then click on the card to flip it over to see the correct answer.

While this assessment task does not affect your ability to pass this course, it is designed as a formative self-assessment task to allow you to reflect on your understanding from Part 1 of the course. 

Gamification in education is about increasing student engagement and learning by using game like elements in learning?


Studies have shown that gamification has proven to increase student engagement in the classroom by incorporating game-like elements into the learning. This links to students enjoyment of games and increases activates their interaction in the learning that is occurring in the classroom.

Effective games use 6 tools, called "Game Mechanics" to actively engage players in the content, impacting how students experience learning


There are 5 key game mechanics that we explored in this course:
1. Conflict
2. Strategy/Chance
3. Aesthetics
4. Theme/Story
5. Reward

Gamification can offer students instant feedback on the application of their learning which can be used to assist their development


Gamification does provide students with instant feedback, triggering metacognitive strategies which can impact not only their future movement forward in the game but can help to understand the ways in which they are applying the learning.

Good games engage users through the application of problem solving, experimentation, exploration and rethinking the objective.


Good games actively engage the user through the application of knowledge and skills like problem solving, experimentation, exploration and rethinking the objective and approaches to implementation of learning to achieve goals.

Gamification limits students curiosity and hinders experimentation while developing a students fear of failure.


The national stem education resources toolkit outlines that a key benefit to the use of gamification in education is that games support student curiosity and experimentation while also supporting their understanding and acceptance towards failure as a step in the learning process.

Part 2: How To Guide

In this part, we will provide you with video guides that will walk you through two key aspects of using this Game-Based Learning tool in your classroom:

Part A: Building the Game

Part B: Using the Game

But before we begin it is worth noting that while the demonstration videos may focus on either the SMART Notebook software or SMART Learning Suite Online platform, the process for engaging these games in your classroom are the same… the only difference between the two is the access points to the games themselves. 

Part A: Building the Game

This video from SMART Technologies will show you a step by step guide on how to build your Fill in the Blanks game in SMART Notebook.

Video Contents:

0.18 – Opening the activity
0.36 – Adding Content to the Fill in the Blanks
0.52 – Inserting & identifying the Blanks
1.08 – Set the feedback & check answers for the game
1.47 – Choose your theme
2.06 – Preview your game
2.34 – Testing the “Check Answers When Prompted” setting
3.10 – Changing incorrect answers
3.35 – Making changes to the game settings

Part B: Using the Game

This video, we will  show you a step by step guide on how to play your Fill in the Blanks game with your students in the SMART Learning Suite Online platform.

Video Contents:

0.14 – accessing the game
0.24 – connecting your students
0.57 – playing the game
1.06 – how the game works
1.34 – reviewing and resetting the game
1.40 – adding more gamification elements
1.57 – ending the lesson

Please Note: Part B “Using the Game” outlines how you can connect students to this game using the SMART Learning Suite Online platform. You can also have students connect to the game through SMART Notebook. Once you have built your game in SMART Notebook, click on the phone/tablet icon shown in red on the left and you will be able to connect your students to the game in the same manner that is explained from 0.24 in the video above. 


Below you will find a series of statements that relate directly to the information that was covered in PART 2 of this course.

Click on the blue icon under the Tick/Cross if you think the statement is correct or incorrect to see if you are in fact, on the money!

Question 1:

This game can only be accessed from the SMART Learning Suite Online platform?

Question 2:

Students can access and play this game on their devices through the portal.

Question 3:

Once you have built your game you cannot go back and edit the text or blanks that you have entered.

Question 4:

There are a variety of different themes available for you to choose from to personalise your game.

Question 5:

The game automatically identifies which words in your statement or phrase will be removed.

Part 3: What's Next?

Now that you have developed an understanding of some elements behind Game-Based Learning in the classroom, and you have seen how to build this game using the SMART Learning Suite software, you are ready to complete the final 3 steps in the course: 

Click on each box to find out more.

Step 1


Log into your SMART Learning Suite Online or use
SMART Notebook to build your own game.


You can either re-watch the Part A: Build the Game video in the "How To Guides" in Part 2 of this course, or if you are a partner school with Pro AV Solutions, you can reach out to one of the PAVE Academy staff who can arrange a free coaching session.

Step 2


Have your students connect to your digital classroom through the portal to unleash the fun!


You can either re-watch the Part B: Use the Game video in the "How To Guides" in Part 2 of this course, or if you are a partner school with Pro AV Solutions, you can reach out to one of the PAVE Academy staff who can arrange a free coaching session.

Step 3


Share your SMART Notebook file or SMART Learning Suite Online lesson with other teachers in the PAVE Community.


SMART Notebook:

Locate the file on your computer and attach that to an email

SMART Learning Suite Online:

Click on the "3 dots" icon on your game in the SLSO dashboard and select the Share Link option. Follow the prompts to access the Get Teacher Share Link and then paste this URL into an email


Congratulations! You are a step away of getting your PAVE Academy certificate.  Simply click the link below – you will be redirected to a certificate application form for you to complete. This form will also ask you to provide feedback on the course so that we can work to offer the most valuable PD sessions for teachers that we can. 

The certificate you will receive will show the course title, description, length and AITSL standards covered so that it can be used as evidence for your annual teacher registrations. Please ensure that you save them in a safe space on your device but if you misplace it, please get in contact via the Contact Us page and we will assist with acquiring a new one. 


Badges are essential gamification elements that symbolize achievements completed by learners, and the PAVE Academy want to celebrate your completion of this course, and recognise your efforts with this exclusive PAVE Academy GBL Badge. There is a new badge for each GBL course you complete so collect them all to become a Recognised PAVE Academy Game Based Learning (GBL) Educator.

Attach your brand new badge as a signature on your email and share it on your social medial channels to let all you peers know the learning you have obtained. This can open professional conversations between yourself and your colleagues around your use of technology in your teaching and can encourage them to approach you for advice and guidance to help them improve their professional practice. 

You have now completed this on demand course

We hope that you have enjoyed this course and were able to get some valuable tools and knowledge that you can use in your teaching.

If you need any assistance with your schools Education Technology or have any questions regarding this training session please contact us and we will assist you with all your needs. 

And finally, our big 5 reminders:
1.  fill out the form to get your certificate and then keep an eye out for your certificate in your email inbox
2. download your badge, attach it to your email signature and share it on your social media platforms
3. revisit this course as many times as you need, so if you feel you need a refresher on the content we covered this resource is always available for you here.
4. follow the PAVE Academy on Facebook, LinkdIn, Twitter and Instagram
5. engage with the PAVE Academy Network