As an educator working with students ranging from Year 5 through to 12 I have a strong belief on the importance of fun in the learning process. This is doubly so when dealing with youth online. To be truly effective e-learning needs to be engaging as well as informative. And one the best ways to engage online is to be interactive, and yes I’ll say it again, FUN! What many teachers have yet to realise is that online games satisfy the basic requirements of learning environments and can provide engaging learning experiences for students.
A great Moodle plug-in that facilitates a bit of fun in your favorite LMS is the “Game” module. This new module is created by Vasilis Daloukas, a Moodle developer based in Greece who is currently studying a “Computer Engineering and Informatics” degree specialising in “Using games in education”. And what better way to demonstrate his knowledge than to build fantastic Moodle plugin for the rest of us to enjoy.
The idea of the Game module is simple. To create dynamic and interactive online games while reducing the need to duplicate online resources. To do this the games don’t require you to create new questions and answers but instead it ties in with existing dat that you have entered into Moodle Quizzes and Glossaries. The range of games is diverse as well to add to the variety.
Current games include:
- HangMan – This game takes words from either a Glossary or quiz short answer questions and generates a hangman puzzle. (I have reworked this on my site to be a less gruesome game called HangMouse)
- Crosswords – This game takes words from either a Glossary or quiz short answer questions and generates a random crossword puzzle
- Cryptex – This game is like a crossword but the answers are hidden inside a random cryptex.
- Millionaire – This game takes words from multiple choice quiz questions and creates a “Who wants to be a Millionaire” style game complete with the three lifelines. Can they make a million dollars?
- Sudoku – This game shows a sudoku puzzle to the students with not enough numbers to allow it to be solved. For each question the student correctly answers an additional number is slotted into the puzzle to make it easier to solve.
- Hidden Picture – This game randomly grabs an image from a glossary and hides it behind panels. As each question is answered correctly a portion of the image is revealed. How fast can they guess the image?
- Snakes and Ladders – The students have to traverse a traditional “Snakes and Ladders” board by answering questions taken from either a Glossary or quiz short answer questions. As they get n answer right the dice is rolled and a random number displayed.
Like most well made Moodle modules it is installed by simply adding the downloaded directory to your Moodle’s “mod” folder and then visiting your Admin screen to install. It is currently available in Basque, French, Greek, Norwegian, Rusian, Spanish and English.