At the upcoming 21st Century Learning Conference Hong Kong [http://21clhk.org/], Tim Carrell and I will be presenting the ‘Badger Block’; one of the more exciting projects I’m currently working on.
We are very interested in the gamification of Moodle utilizing the conditional activities of Moodle 2. We’ve also been looking keenly on the work being done on Open Badges [http://openbadges.org/]. The badger block aims to bring the two together and provide the teacher with a relatively simple method of providing rewards within a course and across a site.
The badger block displays awarded badges in a side block and placeholders for badges still to be attained.
Clicking on either gives a review of what the badge is for and the criteria for awarding the badge so
- those who have it know why and
- those who want it know how to get it.
As further motivation, the block can also display a bar graph to show popularity of awarded badges.
Badges can be pushed through to the student’s external Open Badges back pack so that achievements can be documented outside of Moodle and beyond the enrollment of the students in their current schools.
Teachers can upload a badge [any square png image] and assign descriptions/criteria.
Note that badges can be put into ‘families’ or given a level.
- The block only displays the highest achieved level and a placeholder for the next level for badges with the same name.
- Badges in a family collection can be awarded in different courses and a block can be configured in any course (including the front page) to show badges awards for a named collection. [By default the block just shows badges created in the local course]
After creating a badge, the teacher then adds a link (a Moodle URL resource) to their course – typically access to this link is restricted through the Moodle 2 conditional activities to ensure that a student has to complete one or more tasks before the link becomes available and the students and claim the badge.
There are, of course, appropriate checks to ensure students cannot forge a badge URL to claim a badge they don’t yet deserve 🙂
Teachers can review issued badges to see who they have been awarded to and delete badges not yet issued.
Badges that have already been issued can be retired but not deleted; data about the badge is retained since the badge may already have been pushed to an external back pack – similarly an issued badge can be revoked from within the Moodle but it cannot be pulled back from an external backpack]
Initial pilots are underway and there seems to be a positive reaction to ‘badging’ from students.
I’d be interested in any feedback – and if there is demand I will try and find time to arrange a code release to git hub.
NB: there is a [moodle partner] group working on integration of open badges, moodle and mahara [details] but we didn’t want to wait 🙂