We talk all things gamification with Moodle HQ’s Adrian Greeve!

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We’ve heard a lot about Gamification of learning as an educational approach to motivate students to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments.

Examples of gamification in Moodle are plenty.

Our own Moodle HQ Adrian Greeve talked about it at the recent MoodleMoot Australia 2016 in his presentation titled: “Course gamification with the stash plugin.”

Or you can also see how Moodle can be gamified in this presentation by Chad Outten, from My Learning Space, one of our Australian Moodle Partners: “Moodle gamified: 7 ways to increase online engagement.”

Recently, we have expanded our knowledge of gamification through one of our developers, Adrian, who attended Gamification Europe from 28 – 29 November in Brighton.

We talk to Adrian to see what gamification tips and tricks he discovered at this conference.

Moodle HQ: Thanks Adrian for your time to talk to us about all things gamification. Can you start by letting us know how your interest in gamification, as a Moodle HQ developer, started?

Adrian: My interest in gamification really started when I was teaching English in Japan. I was looking for any edge that would maintain the interest of the students in my class. English has a reputation of being unpopular and extremely difficult to learn. These were set ideas that the students had and so I tried to use gamification to increase the engagement of the class and show that while English might be challenging, it is well within the grasp of everyone.

I joined Moodle HQ soon after leaving Japan and my interest in gamification was put aside. Then the Moodle Association of Japan asked me to give a keynote presentation on the subject at their Moodlemoot in 2015. I did a lot of additional research on the topic, and that piqued my interest further. After this point I started working on plugins to help with gamification and Moodle.

Moodle HQ: You recently attended Gamification Europe! What were the top 3 things you learnt and worth sharing for others interested in gamification?


Number one: Probably the most important question to ask yourself is “Do I have a well defined problem that needs solving? And is gamification the best way to solve it?” Gamification is not a silver bullet that will solve everything. A lot of gamification projects fail because the problem that is trying to be solved is vague, or gamification is not the right fit.

Number two: Try to provide an engaging narrative to tie together your gamified system. Just adding gamified components may lead to an initial increase in engagement, but it will quickly disappear. Narrative is an important ingredient that helps hold all the different gamification parts together.

Number three: Prototype your gamification solution and get as much feedback and data as possible. It is likely that you will have to go through multiple iterations of your project before seeing the desired results.

Moodle HQ: For those who would like to try gamification in Moodle, where do you recommend they start?

Adrian: If you haven’t already then I highly recommend viewing Chad Outten’s presentation at the Sydney Moot. It’s a nice introduction to basic concepts of gamification and Moodle.

Sarah Thorneycroft created some excellent content with earlier versions of Moodle. She has a YouTube video that I recommend watching and you can try out her course yourself at https://moodle.une.edu.au/enrol/index.php?id=4

Frederic Nevers has another great YouTube video about gamifying Moodle. It gives an in depth how to video to add gamification to a standard installation of Moodle.

When you feel ready then there are some excellent third party plugins that can help to gamify your course. These are:

  • Level up – A block that you can easily add to your course that will give students experience points (XP) for doing activities.
  • Stash – Another block that gives the teacher the ability to hide items around the course for the student to find or earn.
  • Quizventure – A module that merges answering quiz questions with a Galaga styled shooter.
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