The workshop presenters will share best practices for active learning through simulations and gamification of college level academic activities. Participants will analyze peer-reviewed research on gamification, simulations, and gameful design to identify lecture activities that bring excitement and heightened attention into modern learning environments. Participants will contrast theory and hands-on activities in order to construct their own adoption of best practices demonstrated. Concepts of serious gaming, game-based learning, and edutainment will be explored in order to establish a foundation of research driven, actionable improvements of instruction. Design thinking process will be demonstrated as a catalyst for improvement of teaching with technology.