Site icon Atomic Jolt

Delphinium – Gamifying Your Canvas Course is Just a Click Away

When given a choice between electronic games and homework, games win hands down – if you can’t beat em, join em!

Jared Chapman PhD, MBA, M.Ed

Delphinium is a one of a kind Canvas plugin that gamifies your modules and pages. With the mini-games, colorful modularization, and witty progress rewards, your students will spend more time engaging with your course and less time haranging you about the bare minimum level of effort required to pass the course. Oh, I haven’t mentioned the best part: it sets itself up with your own custom course content?

Timestamping Outline

See Jared’s InstructureCon presentation at for more information on the theory and research behind Delphinium

Delphinium Highlights

Written by Rich Kingsford


Who doesn’t love to create little customized characters of themselves? Delphinium’s Avatar feature makes a great introduction to any course, allowing the student to build an emotional connection to your course. Hats, facial hair, face types, and even monster features mirror the fun students find in the most addictive games on their phone.

Badges and brag boards

Delphinium automatically sets up badges and milestones with your various modules. By default, Canvas offers plain text module outlines that, frankly, are quite dull. This feature literally adds some color to the course. Delphinium’s AI automatically interprets your content and guesses at what the badges should be, but you can customize the groupings to your heart’s content. My favorite badges are the ones that introduce a little friendly competition to the course: “First one to complete the midterm.”


The leaderboards in delphinium are designed to take advantage of the way your brain uses dopamine.  You can break your own records, see your own progress, or see how you stack up against your cohort or class.  Some students are more competitive than others…  With the intent to engage the more competitive students without introducing any discouragement to those who are less competitive,  the leaderboards customizability allows endless possibilities.

Module map

Delphinium’s module map takes the plain text modules you’ve seen in Canvas today and colorizes them by adding stars to them.  As the students progress through the module, they can see instant feedback about their progress through the stars.  Far more rewarding than the plain check boxes. Again, zero set up required, but also customizable.

Easter eggs

An Easter egg in the gaming world is a small hidden secret that, when discovered, makes you chuckle with glee and achievement. You can trace these to practically any accomplishment in your course.  I’m having a hard time deciding which one is my favorite: The dinosaur one or the dancing microbiology images and vocabulary words in my biology course :-).


The progress meter is a small thermometer that helps students see how they compare against the absolute course standard and against their peers.  We believe some light peer pressure can be a powerful motivator to the student.

Delphinium is very easy to set up and really packs a punch in making any course more engaging.  Students want to play games on their phones.  If you can’t compete with those phone games, join them :-).

Exit mobile version