Ever since the early 2010s when gamification began permeating more aspects of user interactions, the Moodle community started to show its interest, excitement, and healthy skepticism about the possibility of adding a “game layer” on top of education. Moodle HQ’s Adrian Greeve has been a witness of its ebbs and flows, he shares in an interview for moodle.com. For him it started in Japan, trying to teach English and struggling with making students care. Not only was gamification key to turning motivations around, it revealed itself as a powerful tool in the process of developing instructional content.
Of course, just because we are able to think about a problem as a game, and about a learning problem as of knowledge or skills as the game’s outcomes, does not mean that gamification is the silver bullet. Greeve had the opportunity to represent Moodle HQ at Gamification Europe 2017, where he was delighted to see the evolution of thinking about games in technology, EdTech included. Today, gamification is not just about coins, scores, and leaderboards. It is about crafting narratives that speak to students at their core. The challenge is to assemble topics, goals, tools, and games within one story that “ties it all together,” all while stimulating ideas of free exploration.