Gamify your Moodle
Quizventure is a free and easy way to gamify your Moodle course using questions you've already written and just 1 plugin.
This was adapted from a talk I gave at Moodle Moot AU 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
I have been a developer at Moodle HQ for 3 and a half years - I'm enjoying it a lot.
I studied Computer Science and Games Technology for 3 years, and my final year project was an educational game. This left me with a hunger to change the world through gamification of education. At Moodle HQ, we are given 'project weeks' where we can work on anything we want (Moodle related). So I was able to realise this in a simple way.
Entertainment vs. Education
When designing educational games, there's a balance we have to make between entertainment and education: Entertainment increases engagement, and keeps you coming back. But without education, there's no substance or purpose.
I wanted to design something to motivate students to study when they ordinarily wouldn’t want to.
How do games teach?
Games are already educational. We just need to change them to teach what we want to teach. One example is drone piloting. In my talk at the 2015 AU moot, I asked for two volunteers from the crowd: One that was experienced playing games and one that was not experienced playing games. I gave them both the same challenge. To land a remote control drone on a table in the lecture theatre.
Have you ever noticed that you don’t have to force yourself to get better at games? You just learn how to get better while you play.
Things to watch out for
Gamified elements of a course can become tedious and not fun if used for completion criteria or grading. So I've found it's better to design your gamification for teaching, rather than assessment.
Depending on the student and the gamification done, it may be less effective for non gamers. But for most cases we want to design gamification in a way that is natural for all students.
When designing a way gamify a course, the most straightforward method is to take a fun game make it educational.
The advantages of this:
- It's a proven game idea, so we know it's definitely fun and addictive (so they keep coming back to study)
- Uses design and play paradigms that are already well-known.
- As people working in education, we are already good at the educational side of things.
I also had the added requirements of making a game that would be applicable for a wide range of courses, since our mission at HQ is to empower all educators and I don't work at a uni where I could have specific domains to work on.
I decided to take one of the most fun and addictive games of all time: Galaga. And combine it with something that everyone already has in their Moodle - the Question bank.
The result, I hope, is good fun and easy for teachers to set up. I've found it's especially good for rote learning, or lots of new concepts like learning a language.