Gamification Workshop: Adding Easter Eggs for more Active Classrooms

If you want a fun way to encourage students to be active explorers, consider adding “Easter Eggs” to gamify your online course. This is one of the easiest ways to incentivize and add a sense of play to the learning.

An “Easter Egg Hunt” was originally an Easter holiday game of hiding brightly coloured eggs and having children find them. Adopted by the gaming world, programmers hid virtual “treats” inside video games (bonus points, extra protection armour, etc) to be uncovered during game play.

In online learning, we can sprinkle easter eggs throughout the course to encourage active exploration in all corners of our courses.

Let’s walk through some common questions about adding Easter Eggs to your course.

1. What can you use as an “Easter Egg”?

You can use anything! Whatever you can dream up. They can be all the same, using a single image repeatedly all over the course, or all different like a “set” to collect.

Easter-egg3 Easter-egg3 Easter-egg3 Easter-egg3




They don’t have to be Easter Eggs!

Check out Pixabay (free) and (paid) for graphics.

2. What kinds of rewards does an Easter Egg trigger?

Each Easter Egg triggers something novel and engaging. For example, a Youtube video with a funny song or some humour.


It can also link to interesting extension material,  a screencast from the teacher, clues to a mystery, etc.

3. Where should they be placed in the course?

I like thinking strategically with this gamification technique. Here is a short list of ideas:

  • At the end of each unit to encourage forward motion in the course
  • In the course outline, grading policy or other “dry” material they may want to skip
  • In your “teacher profile” area (have this egg linked to a little video of you!)
  • In the feedback area of a quiz or project, as a little reward for completing a major assessment
  • In forum entries. Even better, in OTHER people’s entries to encourage reading the thoughts of their peers.
  • Completely random. Keep students interested by adding them WHILE the course is happening too.

You can even have a little (just for fun) quiz at the end of the course that can only be answered after they have gathered all the eggs.


The Takeaway

Gamification doesn’t have to be complex. Try it and watch the impact it has on the engagement and completion results in your course.

Have fun and let me know if you try adding Easter Eggs to your online course.



  1. Brenda October 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    These are such great ideas. I am leading an online writing course this term and have implemented some features I learned from you, in particular the label that appears with ‘You’ve completed 1 of 3 sections of the lesson’ to keep them going. Each section has several tasks and users tend to get easily lost. (‘How do I know if I’m finished the lesson?’) These little triggered labels (with autumn leaves!) really minimizes the questions I get and helps them move forward. I’m also using badges for the first time and have lots to learn, but it’s fun and I think it’s working. Thanks for all your tips!

    • Neela Bell October 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Brenda. I’m glad you found it helpful and, more importantly, that it’s working! Appreciate the comment. 🙂

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