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I’m Steve Bader, I work for NC State University as a Moodle Developer.
I’ve been working on Moodle for over three years now
And during this time I’ve had the pleasure of creating a automated course copier to move and roll course to different moodle instance for our instructors.
I’ve had a big hand in working through accessibility issues with Greg Kraus…
But recently, I have been involved in creating the Gamification Module which is the experience I will share with you today.
I’m going to try and deliver this with my Instructional Designer hat on BUT remember I’m a developer
And by default, that means I’m an introvert and this… is… terrifying.
So as an outline, I am going to cover
Why we chose to gamify a course.
How we defined gamification
How we evaluated Moodle’s current ability to gamify and what we felt we need to develop.
And then I’ll share some of our first case studies.
Somewhere at the beginning of 2014 I was approached by a course designer about a request an instructor had.
He wanted to created a game for his course to help students explore career opportunities in the sport sector.
Having just went through the development of a mobile game for a course the previous year, I was in full denial.
We learned a lot developing a mobile game specifically for one course, but most importantly we learned
That it absorbed a lot of our time And very little of it was reusable for future development projects.
After some back and forth, the notation of Gamification came up and we decided to vet idea.
So we found the most common definition for Gamifcation.
Gamification is the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts.
A big misconception… Gamification but no actual game play. The rewards are given via the contexts that surround the game mechanics.
We identified three major components of Gamification
Objectives, the behavioral mechanic that the user is responsible for (either knowing or unknowning).
Progression, the mechanism or strategy that directs your user’s actions ( can be subtle or blatant )
And Feedback, the results and rewards given to the user.
We discovered that we aren’t all created equal – shocker.
According to Richard Bartle, we can break gamers up into 4 types of players. You may apply to one or more types.
Killers – Want to compete with others Explorers – Just want to see everything there is to see Achievers – Want to make sure they’ve seen or collected everything And Socializers – Who really just want to co-op and hang with others
So to effectively gamify a course for everyone, we learned we need to focus on different types of players.
I would invite you to search for an online Bartle test and find out what kind of gamer you are.
So now we turned to Moodle to see what there was to offer in the way of gamification.
And we revisited things you all are probably aware of…
Restrict Access, we can do a bit of waterfalling, leveling or staging..
Activity completion we can provide a checklist or some type of indication with progression.
And of course Badges but we found we didn’t want our badges or achievements to really leave the scope of the course.
Now we outlined what we felt we need to do Gamification right.
We need more definable objectives, since that was one of our major components.
We needed points and leaderboards to help with our feedback component and ‘killer’ gamers.
We needed some eye candy or visual progress to help with our progression component and maybe with our explorers.
And we needed course level achievements for our collectors to go after.
As a start …
This leads us to the Gamification module.
Which consists of a system archetype module ( behind the scenes ),
- Where management of the gamification components takes place - We can create multiple point sets - We can configure leader boards - Define objectives and rewards ( I’ll touch on this more in a second ) - Create the course level achievements ( to be used as a reward ) - Then display those achievements to the student
A restrict access condition, meaning we can release topics and activities based on completion of objectives.
And finally a filter used as a reward, I’ll go into more in a minute
Everything to do with the Gamification Module boils down to Objectives and Rewards.
I allowed the creation of objectives based on
- activity completion (defined by activities in the course) - Moodle event’s.. using Moodle’s new event API, I created observers to listen for a short list of events that can be defined as an objective - Achieving a points goal - and completing a Meta Objective
After you create your objective, you can attach rewards to be given to the user when triggered.
- A course level achievement, to be shown in the block - A file … placed in your blocks backpack -- good for scavenger hunts or clues - Points rewarded to a specific point set - And the mysterious filter reward.
Real quickly I want to show give a closer look to the objective creation screen.
Here we have a Moodle event…
So we’ve selected that the objective will be a Moodle event
The event will be a viewed chapter (commonly referred to as page) in the book
And we’ve selected the specific page from a list in our course.
So when a student views that page in the book, this objective will be marked complete and they will receive the rewards attached to this objective.
You may also notice, for Moodle events, we had the option of making this objective repeatable ( good for rewarding points for forum posts ).
I also wanted to show you one of my favorite rewards….
The filter reward will allow us to reward new content to add to or replace content for a given token.
You place the token in an html block or a topic block or anywhere you have content.
If the student hasn’t received the reward, the token is just removed.
But if they have received the reward, then the token is replaced with the given content.
And this is stackable, more and more content can be added.
I’ve got a couple screen shots to show all of this in action…..
This is a student view of a plant identification course.
This course had 10 topics related to different types of plants..
-- each topic had 3 required activities and around 7 optional activities
- all of which generated gardener points for the leaderboard seen on the right - and achievements (also on the right)
This is another course that uses the Gamification module
But mainly just the filter reward… As activities are completed, your homestead gains more and more landscape pieces.
This was really just an eye candy but we’ve gotten some positive reviews anyhow.
So let’s talk about our original course.
( PRT 266, Introduction to Sport Management )
The goal was to engage the students more and have them explore the career opportunities that best fit their interests.
We started building the course by adding 75 optional activities that rewarded job skill points themed around that activity. Not all of the activities were revealed at once and most had to be unlocked by completing a prior activity or being to a specific point in your career.
THEN we created 139 job opportunities .. mainly assignment or quiz modules that resembled resume or interviews. The jobs varied in levels and revealed themselves based on required job skills – so as a student you may only ever see 10 – 15 opportunities.
I should mention that, the career exploration was optional. The course also had its usual required material.
In hindsight, I think we went over board.
But it created a very dynamic exploration of sport careers and a unique experience for every student.
58 entry level 35 mid level 46 dream level
Aftter our first semester…
We received nearly full class participation in our optional career exploration activities.
We only seen a small bump in the average grade
The students felt the content was explained better
The instructor was more effective
AND felt that the course was overall better.
On the flip side,
The instructor felt students were more active in the course (both in his face to face and online class) AND that the classroom had more meaningful conversations.
Our plant identification course, was much more tame.
We had 14 students, all passed!
The instructor reported an big increase in optional activity participation…
So this included… - Mystery plant assignment
- Finding plants in nature
- Creating a journal
- and different types of classroom time interaction
We presented the gamification module at Educause this past Febuary from inside a gamified Moodle course.
So as we presented, we walked the audience topic by topic through the course while they engaged with the material to receive presentation points.
We had 62 members in the audience and when it was all said and done, 52 had participated in the activities.
As we went along, a leaderboard in the sidebar displayed the top participants and quickly became a challenge.
After the conference, out of no where, 70 more enrolled in the course.
So all in all, we counted it as a success.
So what’s next?
We have a new challenge with a very difficult course … micro biology
We are going to attempt to create a study tool that builds itself as students move through the content.
Still early in development.
I’m working to share the module with the community as soon as we are granted permission by our Office of Tech Transfer.
Lastly, we’re still learning learning and defining what Gamification is…
How to use it effectively….
Not make it feel gimicky…
Developing Gamification within Moodle
Developing Gamification within Moodle
Function and Instruction
Presented by: Steve Bader
Learn more at: https://gamification.delta.ncsu.edu
https://gamification.delta.ncsu.eduDistance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA)
Gamification Exploration with Moodle
• Why Gamification?
• What is Gamification?
• Moodle and Gamification
• The Gamification Plugin
• Our First Case Studies
Reasons for Gamification
PRT 266: Introduction to Sport Management
The primary objectives of the course are to expose students to the range of careers
in Sport Management and to help them develop a career plan.
• Students only focus on glamorous careers and lose interest in other career options.
• Career plans weren’t diverse and students did not explore career options enough.
• 400 students enrolled per year.
Goal: Increase engagement and exploration in content and activities.
• Gamification is the use of game mechanics and
game design techniques in non-game contexts.
• Gamification uses the natural desire for competition,
achievement, status, altruism and/or collaboration
(depending on the personality type).
• Objectives: A behavioral mechanic type, requiring the user to take
action for the reward.
Quests Discovery Goals
Leveling StagesProgress Bar
• Feedback: Informing the user of their status.
• Progression: Move the user through the content.
• Know how to target different player types using
Killers: Driven by player vs
player competition. How do I
compare to others?
Explorers: Pride themselves in
exploring all facets of a game or
the context surrounding it.
Socializer: Prefer to socialize,
play cooperatively, and share
game experiences with others.
Achievers: Look to achieve all
objectives available in a game.
Desires to beat the game itself.
Gamification in Moodle
Creating Objectives & Rewards
More variety in objectives
Points & Leaderboards
Course level awards
Images, progress bars, status
The Gamification Plugin
• Point Sets
• Objectives & Rewards
• Can link to larger list
• Can show multiple
• Can show unachieved
The Gamification Plugin
Objectives: A closer look
Moodle Event Objective
• Uses Moodle’s Event API to listen for events.
• Has the option to be a repeated objective
Assignment, Book, Chat, Choice,
Database, Forum, Lesson, Page, Quiz,
The Gamification Plugin
Rewards: A closer look
HS200: Home Gardening Course Example
• Uses Moodle’s Filter API to alter content in
• Filters can ‘stack’ or ‘replace’ previously
PRT 266: Intro to Sport Management
Sports Career Exploration
10 Major Career Paths: Allowing the student to
choose a path(s) and begin a mock career.
14 Job Skills: Course activities reward job skill points
used to track career development.
139 Job Opportunities: 58 entry level, 35 mid level,
and 46 dream jobs (targeted by the student)
75 Course Activities: Spread throughout the career to
help build job skills and deliver course material to
36 Achievements: Ranging in difficulty
PRT 266: Intro to Sports Management
Higher average grade
3 point jump in grades, with a smaller S.D.
Fall 2014 Spring 2015
Mean: 82 85
S.D. 6.35 6.23
The instructor explained material well.
Mean: 3.8 4.4
S.D. 1.3 0.7
Overall, the instructor was an effective teacher.
Mean: 4.0 4.5
S.D. 0.5 0.7
Overall, this course was excellent.
Mean: 4.0 4.6
S.D. 1.1 0.8
HS 495: Plant Identification
Online / Distance Education Course
309 Gamification Objectives
81 Objectives attached to optional activities
49 Available Achievements
Ranging in difficulty
All Students Passed
73% of objectives completed
46% of attached to optional activities
Intrepid Traveler Eat Your Greens Trees Guru
An interactive, gamified presentation
Presentation was delivered from a gamified Moodle course
Audience was encouraged to follow along with activities
52 members participated in course
62 were in the audience. 70 more have registered since the presentation
4 members reached maximum points
2 were in the online audience
Over 100 forum posts where created
Several were used in the Q&A at the end of the presentation
More trials, module changes
MB 411: Immunology
Creating a card study tool collection using the
gamification module filter reward.
Sharing with Moodle Community
Working with Campus Office of Information
Technology for permission.
About the definition of Gamification?
The concept is still kind of evolving...
About the module?
Also still evolving but stable!
About some of the pilot courses?
Learning more every semester…
I won’t mind
Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA)