Making engaging courses in Moodle means more than flash. It is an ongoing exercise in listening and following students explore content and activities. Gamification brought tools for moodlers to improve interactivity. But it is not a holy grail and it is not as efficacious without a sense of “moving forward”.
To sum up, the journey is more important than the gold coins or power-ups.
However, gamification tools can help you put emphasis on the feeling of moving forward. Overcoming a challenge as a condition to keep going turns content into a reward in itself. And a visible recognition will strengthen student confidence on a subject now mastered.
Cue Restriction by Badge by Tim Lock. This plugin allows you to limit access to parts of the course until the student achieves a badge. As we know badges can be awarded for many kinds of activities. A student enrolled in many courses from one Moodle can receive site badges and course badges.
To get the best use of Restriction by Badges in interactivity, a development workflow would look like this:
Place content items in a meaningful sequence. Bonus point for increasing challenge.
Add badge-worthy challenges before each content item. They can reward not only subject skill, but items like collaboration. Give badges to encourage students to add to a wiki or glossary, or by helping answer class questions.
Set Restrictions by Badges!
For advanced moodlers, the unlocking scheme does not have to be linear. Allow many challenges at the same time. This will help you find out preferences, as proxy for deep interests or thinking in your students.
Find out more about Restrictions by Badge here.
Check out the GitHub repo here.
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Did you invent a cool challenge or and awesome, unique badge? Let us know in the comments!