When Moodle announced that version 2.5 would have badges I got very excited as I think that gamification within education is particularly interesting. Unfortunately when the badges arrived I was left a little disappointed by the implementation.
There is nothing wrong with the implementation per se but the criteria that it shipped with were very safe and unexciting. When I play on Xbox the “level x complete” achievements do not really interest me, they are run of the mill and you can get those by simply playing the game. For me all of the default criteria in Moodle fall into this category: complete profile, complete activity X, complete activity Y, complete activities X & Y etc…
The Xbox achievements that do interest me are those that are linked with a particular challenge or just plain unexpected. e.g. completed level in under 30 seconds, completed mission without reloading, played game on particular day.
From a Moodle perspective I thought badges such as the following would be of interest/use (some more educationally useful than others 🙂 )
- Beginners Luck? – Scored top marks in quiz on first attempt
- Try again… – attempted a quiz more than 5 times
- Lucky for some – 100% on 13th attempt
- 5 Star – 100% in 5 quizzes
- Midnight Hour – Logged in between midnight and 1am
- Early riser – Logged in between 5 and 7am
- Merry Christmas? – Logged in on Christmas Day
You could come up with many along these lines that are just not possible with the currently available criteria.
I initially I thought that would not be an issue and I could simply right my own, but on initial inspection this proved not to be as straightforward as it could be. The way badges have been written means that it is not as easy as dropping an extra file or folder of files into the main files.
Over the next few blog posts I will try to document the procedure to add your own criteria that I have discovered. I am currently making a simple quiz criteria to try and make first set of examples above achievable.