Teaching with Moodle

Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material

Ryan Hazen
Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material

Hi all!

I've coached a lot of college faculty and private/public corporate trainers through creating and sustaining engagement by students in courses on an ongoing basis. 

One thing that really helps with this is a leveled system of awards for good participation. There are a few tools out there that help with this. Here are two that I know work well:



However, I've suggested an improvement to core that will help teachers achieve this goal without additional plugins in situations where they either don't have the funds or don't have the institutional support for more plugins. Here's the idea:

Adding leveled completion options to activity completion would allow teachers to track progress toward a goal rather than simply log that it's been completed. It would also augment their ability to award badges for course participation. For example:

I want to create a forum where a user is given badges for participation in a forum as follows:

10 posts = Little League Forum Poster Badge

20 posts = Minor League Forum Poster Badge

40 posts = Major League Forum Poster Badge

As it is currently set up, I can only award a badge for activity completion, which is restricted to one completion per activity. This improvement would allow me to award a "level 1 complete when condition A is met," a "level 2 complete when condition B is met," "level 3 complete when condition C is met," and so on, such that users could be awarded badges (or anything else that's being tracked through completion)  progressively as they continually participate in an activity. 

I've made a tracker item here: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-62374

Help me vote it up! Thanks smile

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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Sounds good, but wouldn't a peer rating that leads to a badge be more attractive to students? Peer assessment has been around for a long time now, is well recognised, so being awarded status from peers would hold more value I suspect than gaining a badge by the sheer volume of posts made. How this could be done is a post is rated say 1 to 5, and any user who gains a level of points for their posts is awarded a badge. 

This does not need to stretch Moodle anywhere, just go to the Permissions and grant Students Role the capability of rating forum posts.   

Average of ratings: Useful (1)
Ryan Hazen
Re: Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material

It's not just applicable to the sheer number of posts. The limitation this improvement would solve is the ability of completion tracking to track only a single level of achievement per activity. 

Let's say that you want students to continue posting after achieving your first level of peer rating - a way to give them a series of achievements in terms of peer rating rather than a single achievement. Here's an example:

Good forum contributor = 5 "cool" ratings by peers

Great forum contributor = 10 "cool" ratings by peers

Outstanding forum contributor = 15 "cool" ratings by peers

Zen Master forum contributor = 30 "cool" ratings by peers

This way students ONGOING participation is encouraged, rather than participation to single point. I'm not suggesting this tool be applied in any particular way, but that teachers have the ability to set different levels of completion within a single activity.  

As for the need of external motivation, this type of leveled acknowledgement is central to thousands of successful gaming platforms, from first person shooters to match 3 mobile games. People want to level up and have their progress visible to peers. It motivates us in strange and powerful ways, for whatever reason.

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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Hi Ryan,

Just wondering, have you looked at the Level Up plugins? Seems to me they pretty much cover what you are asking for, but I freely admit that I have not used  them since I retired from active teaching three years ago.

Average of ratings: Useful (3)
Ryan Hazen
Re: Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material

I included links to both LevelUp and Mootivated in the original post. They're great services! This little improvement would be much simpler and not require a plugin in addition to core.

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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Encouraging ongoing student engagement with course material
Particularly helpful Moodlers
Does anybody know what that much of external motivation is needed?
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