Trading Card Game as Educational Reward System

Trading Card Game is a sort of board game and it is a real game so students have no stress but enjoy while playing. Students can get better cards if they actively participate in the class and learning activities.

Past research shows that symbolic educational rewards are meaningless to students, however, at the meantime, students would not appreciate if the real educational rewards are not so useful to them. Of course, ‘money’ as rewards shouldn’t be considered. Card games are very common and welcome by students in different ages and even for graduate and undergraduate students. But most of card games are either commercial ones or difficult to take as educational reward systems due to its in-game elements are hard to connect to the academic performance of learning activities. The trading card game was developed intends for teachers deliver/give to students according to their performances in different learning activities (e.g., classroom participation, discussions, assignments, quiz, exams, etc.). The cards can be designed by us simply since the game is developed by ourselves. It is worth to mention, the game supports multiple languages and players who use different languages can still play and compete with each others.

The game is a discipline independent game, which means, the in-game rewards can be delivered by any teacher in any course. The game is a sort of board game, therefore, the in-game rewards are cards and students need to compete with each others. In order to make students have correct perception and positive attitude towards the competitions, a student’s ranking among all students is based on his/her credits rather than how many matches s/he has won or lost before. The student can get credits for the efforts s/he has tried to make in the match, so s/he still receives credits even s/he loses the match, sometimes, a student who loses the game could even receive more credits than the winner. A student might be able to have more options and strategies in the match if s/he has more in-game rewards and even might be able to defeat his/her opponents easier. Well-designed peer competitions have been proved as a good way to get students motivated and it is the basic idea of this mechanism. For those students who don’t want to compete with others, the in-game rewards (i.e., the cards) have collectable feature just like coins, stamps and hockey cards; students may want to see higher level cards as well as rare cards in their card collection book. The effect of the game-based educational reward mechanism will be kept in student’s mind and the learning motivation engaged by the mechanism can be carried to the followed course. The students may want to get better in-game rewards in the followed course by learning harder and putting more efforts in the assignments, participation, discussions, and etc.

Here is the system website

Full Video Clip:

1. From Paper-based to Digital Trading Card Game –

2. Game-Play

•User Interface introduction –

•Create and manage your decks –

•Create a combat room and ready for battle! –

•Start a match –

•Continue the match –

3. Pilot –

4. Computer player chats with student –

5. Computer player can play with student –


Peayton Chen, Rita Kuo, Maiga Chang, and Jia-Sheng Heh. (2009). Designing a Trading Card Game as Educational Reward System to Improve Students’ Learning Motivations. Transactions on Edutainment, III, 116-128. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Peayton Chen, Rita Kuo, Maiga Chang, and Jia-Sheng Heh. (2009). Designing a Trading Card Game as Educational Reward System to Improve Students’ Learning Motivations. In the Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on E-Learning and Games, (Edutainment 2009), Banff, AB, Canada, Aug. 9-11, 2009. Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5670, 175. (Springer LNCS, SCI/ISI, EI)