5 Easy Steps to Gamifying in Moodle

 

Wondering how to gamify your Moodle course? My course completion skyrocketed after adding a few simple gaming elements to my courses.

Here are 5 quick and easy ways to add a “gaming” feel to your course.

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1. Collapsed Topics
Levels, Progress Descriptors, Reveals

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Collapsed topics act as “signposts” for your learners, showing them how they are progressing through your course. Labeling your topics with progress descriptors like “level #1” or “mission #1” draws learners forward. Topics can also use the “restricted access” feature, keeping certain topics invisible until criteria is met (assignment completion, receiving a 50%, etc)  Hidden topics keep the course looking lean for the learner, as well as adding in a surprise “reveal” as they successfully complete assignments.

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2. Custom Sidebars
Player Engagement: Personalizing the Learning Environ

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 4.56.13 PMI’ve written several posts on how to customize the look of the often wasted space in your sidebars. In a gaming environment, this area to the side can act as a personalized console for players (learners).

It is the perfect space to have a ….

  • Completion Checklist (cleverly titled to fit your game),
  • Messages,
  • My Latest Badges,
  • Online Users
  • and a Random Glossary (displaying player avatars / images).

This is also a great place for a link to your class forum for learners to gather and chat about game/class topics, as well as a “Guidebook” on how to navigate the course and/or contact their teacher.

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3. Badges
Displaying Accomplishments

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So much has been written about this topic, I will simply say the potential for fun here is endless. I award learners badges for a variety of different types of activities, from successfully passing an English unit test, to completing their “detective training” in a Forensics course. Badges can also be more significant and can carry accreditation weight as well.

 

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4. Labels
Progress Bar, Videos, Encouragement

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Labels have an amazing versatility because they can hold anything, and be made visible through restricted access settings. I use them for progress bars (triggered visible when assignments are complete, or receive a desired grade), surprise videos that further the game narrative, and even just messages of encouragement. It’s a great way of adding some life to an asynchronous course.

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5. Restricted Access
Conditional Settings in your Moodle Course

The Restricted Access setting is the cornerstone of gamifying a course. It works hand in hand with your completion tracking. When an assignment is viewed and /or completed another separate event can take place. This sort of if/then triggering allows your asynchronous course to really engage learners. I use it to:

  • reveal new learning,
  • reward with points and progress bars,
  • make successful completion mandatory before new learning can take place
  • make the flow of the course appear “personalized” for each learner

The list is endless for how to reshape a course into a more gamified learning environment. The research is overwhelming in terms of engagement and retention of learning in gamified environments. Most of all, it’s just really fun … to design .. and to teach.

Ready for the next level of gamifying your course? Learn how to design a gamified course without burning out!


How do you add elements of “game play” to your courses?
I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a note below or visit my Facebook page!

 

2 Comments

  1. Joel January 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Was looking to see the Youtube videos you made on customizing the sidebar but they’re not available.

    • Neela Bell October 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Joel. I’ve been going through my resources and updating them which included some “vintage” youtube videos. 🙂 I’ve added a link to a post on how to make a glossary in the sidebar that I think you’ll have fun with. Thanks for the comment.

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