I am not quite sure, whether present versions of Moodle allow for it, but if not, I would suggest that it becomes possible to make use of principles from computer games like giving points for the diffent kinds of assignments and for leveling up, when a certain amount of points have been given - maybe also for the teacher to be able to set equavalents of points with grades.
This would be very motivating for students - especially younger students. They would be able to see the value of what they do more clearly, be rewarded for each task and find different ways to improve in their chosen subject. See Lee Sheldons book "The Multiplayer Classroom".
Yes, it's possible to do all kinds of things with Moodle's grade book including what you've described in your post. There may even be some 3rd party plugin modules that make this simpler and easier.
However, I'd look more closely at the research on the effects of rewards and such motivational tactics on learning, especially is younger learners. Alfie Kohn writes extensively about education:
"ON BRIBING STUDENTS TO LEARN:
Second Thoughts About A's, Praise, Stickers, and Contests
Teachers are often encouraged to rely on rewards rather than punishments, but research suggests that carrots can be just as counterproductive as sticks. Both are forms of manipulation, and neither can produce anything beyond temporary compliance. In fact, as Alfie Kohn, author of PUNISHED BY REWARDS, will argue, students who see themselves as doing an assignment in order to receive a gold star, an A, or an award are actually less likely to develop an interest in the subject matter or to challenge themselves to do their best. By the same token, stickers, popcorn parties, and even praise give students no reason to act responsibly when there is no longer a goody to be gained for doing so. For students to become lifelong learners and good people, we need to work with them rather than using techniques like rewards and punishments, which merely do things to them."
The full article is here: http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/fdtd-g.htm
Thank you for your response, and your thoughts on the subject of gamification. It is not just about gaining points and leveling up, but also about providing and overview of what is to be learning and and some free choices as to how to get there. And then to be able to measure how you are getting on. I just read a reference to an article on intrinsic motivation by Edward Vockell: http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/edPsybook/ . He mentions 5 different factors that encourage intrinsic motivation: challenge, curiosity, control, competition and cooperation. Gamification used well would involve all these factors, but other approaches to teaching certainly also could do that.
I quite agree with the points in the article about grading, I have the same experience that grades are not very motivating. I think the reason why it can be different with giving experience points is that that system gives the student more control of his or her own learning.
A recent study byHartnett, St. George and Dron on extrinsic motivation proposes a more complex understanding of the issue rather than that from a behaviorist's perspective. In particular the following is interesting as a subject of further study in relation to gamification:
Identified regulation is associated with individuals who engage in an activity because the results may have personal value to them or because the activity is regarded as worthwhile. Regulation is internal in the sense that the individual has chosen the goal or identifies with it and is aware of its importance. But the motivational pattern is still considered extrinsic in the sense that it is the utility value (a means to an end), personal importance, and/or relevance of the task rather than interest and enjoyment in the task itself that determines the behaviour (Brophy, 2008 as cited in Hartnett, St. George and Dron). Identified regulation is considered particularly important from a practical viewpoint because the perceived relevance and worthwhileness of learning activities can be influenced by the choices made by teachers and course designers (Brophy, 2010 as cited in Hartnett, St. George and Dron).
Definitely not only possible to do this using Conditional Activities http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Conditional_activities in Moodle 2 (or the Activity Locking module in 1.9) but it would be one of the best uses of it.
Combined with other things such as Lessons, the use of adaptive mode and penalties in Quizzes, and audio/video/flash resources, you could build a nice, chained system of leveling up based on points and/or completion of previous items.
Video - MootUK11- Alex Bücher of Synergy Learning on "Course, chat and match in Moodle" - using Conditonal activities as a game http://echosrv-1.echo.ulcc.ac.uk:8080/ess/echo/presentation/970615ae-e07c-44a8-9b59-b1b602316d79
VEry inspiring - thank you - and I love his dialect
Thank you that was very helpful . One thing that teachers that make use of principles for games seem to be short of, is a way for the experience level to be show on the learning platform, enabling the student to see at a glance how far he has progressed, and how to improve. Do you think that it would be possible to add such a function?
From what I understand, there are more accurate, reflective and productive ways of measuring progress and we've had them for a long time in the form of plenary sessions, learning journals, etc.
Just because a learner consumed a few resources and checked a few boxes, it doesn't mean they actually learned anything of value, let alone what you intended. Personally, I've worked in environments where there was an over-emphasis on testing and summative assessment (private language academies) and without any analyses to evaluate the efficacy, validity and accuracy of the materials and assessments. I've frequently had to deal with learners who had done everything asked of them and passed all their assessments but still failed to performed successfully at real-world tasks (e.g. They've passed the Cambridge ESOL FCE exam but can't speak or write coherently). Since I had to uphold the organisations' policies, I couldn't tell them that the in-house assessments were pretty much meaningless and the exams were not accurate reflections of linguistic ability in the real world. All I could do was to encourage them to do more productive activities that were not on the curriculum.
In short, I'd advise against using LMS tracking as an assessment tool. I don't think it reflects what learners are learning and I think it can only partially measure learners' consumption of resources and performance on tests.
Those are group icons. When you create a group in Moodle you can assocaite an image with it, and those images are shown in some places like forums.
And, Moodle.org has a small amount of custom code to put people in groups automatically. For example, if enough of your posts are rated, you are automatically put in the Particularly Helpful Moodlers group.
Note that that has been going on since long before the buzzword gamification reared its ugly head.
Tim, you are awsome, I have been using Moodle since 2003 and I had never made the connections between the icons and groupings. I agree about the awfulness of the word gamification (or should that be gameification), but there is some value in the idea. For example, I would like to have an additional groupy badge thing on my moodle org account and keep thinking I should get involved in testing to see if I can get another icon next to my name. However I am not a typical student, he says posting at 9.22 on a Sunday morning.
I give my students quite a few Hotpotatoes gap fill exercises. When they cannot figure which word to put in a gap, I suggest they click the hint button. They frequently complain that they don't want to do that because they will loose some points. They know very well that it is just a formative exercise that will not contribute to the final goal but for them a higher mark is "better".
But groups are not site wide and cohorts do not support images.
Gamification is about motivation rather than assessment as Kristin said. I'm thinking that it could be associated with feedback. Game developers had known how to motivate students by providing them tools for persistent immediate personal feedback. Persistent and immediate since you get xp points or the progress bar updated every time you do something that tells you your doing something right or wrong rather than waiting for your teacher to grade your work. Personal because the students sets his/her own short term goal (e.g. level up today) to get through a boring part of an activity that promises a good ROI in the long run. I think it is similar to reading a thick book, the long term goal is to finish the book which promises knowledge. But it's boring so we set a number of pages or chapters to finish each day.
I tried to modify the profile block to include a progress bar and report on total grades from the gradebook but it beyond my skills. Anyone who can give a clue how to do this and include badges?
I tried to set up the moodle 1.9 gradebook to reflect xp and player levels. The context is that the student may work on any of the modules at any time so levels are not categories that group activities. Instead I tried to edit the letter grades to display levels.
The settings are as follows:
1. change category and subcategory total name to XP etc.
2. set display grade type to real for subcategory and level (real) for parent category sum.
3. as admin enable unlimited grades in Grade - General settings (to be able to exceed the 100% maximum grade)
4. for farming designate grade as extra credit.
5. set aggregation type to sum of grades.
I found the following problems with this approach. As you can see above the total xp exceeds the total range. This results in the player getting to higher levels earlier than the desired xp condition. eg my level four is 1100 xp but it is already displayed as level 11 (letter grade).
The problem is that letter grades boundary is by percentage and does not allow input of integers. So if i have an activity worth 200 xp then even if i can input that through overriden gradebook the denominator for the percentage (what is added to the sum of maximum grades) is still 100.
If the letter grades allow input of integers or/and the maximum grades allow input of integers rather than percentages then everything will work.
As it stands only the display of XP will work, and I can't seem to disable the display of ranges in moodle 1.9. So students need to be informed that they should ignore the ranges.
Students would have to manually look up a table of levels-xp to determine their level. But if a plugin block could be made to do the level calculations then this may work. I'll investigate that later on when I have the time.
This is a great Idea, have you found a block that displays the levels? or that displays the ranked students?
There is an open source engine under dev UserInfuser. I wonder if a module or API could be developed to integrate with Moodle?
What is UserInfuser?
From the makers of AppScale comes an open source platform that provides customizable gamification elements designed to increase user interaction on websites. The project involves badging, points, live notifications, and leaderboards. Additonally, the platform provides analytics to track user participation.
Visit http://cloudcaptive.com for more information or sign up at userinfuser.com. Source code is available for SVN checkout or downloadable as a tar/zip file, allowing for you to host it yourself on Google App Engine, your own machine using AppScale or visit CloudCaptive for additional hosting options.
- Increases user interaction with your website (more time on site)
- The application is written for scale; it can handle websites of all sizes (auto-scales with Google's infrastructure)
- API calls are asynchronous so there is no overhead
- Fully customizable to make it have the look and feel of your website
- The source code is available in thedownload sectionand ongithub
In reality, this is just open-source API to closed-source (?, see P.S.) service. http://userinfuser.com/
If tomorrow this service diappears for any reason, this "open-source engine" would stop to work. As all the real backend logic is inside the service.
Do you know what is their userbase? How can somebody be sure that this company will not die in several months/years?
P.S. Double-checked. Not that bad. in fact they have some source code released, looks like an engine part: http://code.google.com/p/userinfuser/downloads/detail?name=userinfuser-0.9.2.tar.gz But somebody should run the server.
so what do you think we should do if we want to use the software and not get cut off if the "open-source engine" would stop to work?
I think it is better to look into Mozilla Open Badges project: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Badges
Besides all, Mozilla foundation is behind the project.
But if you want to use userinuser, it is safer to deploy your own copy of the software in google apps cloud. Then you become independent from the company which is hosting the service userinfuser.
thank you very much! Tell me are you familiar with developing a webiste based gamification software which is supposed to be connected with a voucher engine, managed out of a social CRM, monitored through a dashboard in the social CRM? Long questions
But basically its in a first step to develop fully scalable website gamification software applicable for MNE brand pages.
A possible model approach is offered by the Cambridge personalization By Pieces platform (http://www.camb-ed.net/pbyp/), which uses skills ladders and assessment by peers who are one step above you. The workshop module offers the opportunity to integrate peer assessment, and a kind of guild atmosphere to levelling up.
I'm not sure if Moodle can support this adequately, but it seems to me to be vital that gamification in the classroom be based on peer mentoring and assessment rather than grades and more extrinsic reward systems.