- A Moodle plug-in developed in-house at North Carolina State University has gamified an Introduction to Sport Management course.
- Conceived by assistant teaching professor Edwin Lindsay, assistant professor Michelle Harrolle (who is no longer at the university), and NC State business and tech applications analyst Stephen Bader, the plug-in allows students to pursue individualized paths through coursework, gaining skill points so their avatars can complete various objectives.
- Funded by a grant from NC State's DELTA (Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications), for which Bader also serves as Moodle lead, the plug-in may be released to the open-source community by the end of this year.
As technology continues transforming academia, administrators and professors have increasingly looked for ways to expand learning beyond the lecture hall or online discussion board. This has become a particular pain point due to the need to engage a generation of students seen as being more easily distracted and less patient as a result of growing up with the instant gratification and feedback of text messaging and video games.
According to the Excelsior College Center for Game and Simulation-based Learning's founding director, David Seelow, higher ed institutions failing to embrace gamified approaches risk producing disengaged, bored and unprepared students. Whether that comes from badging, alternate reality, simulation or other measures is, of course, dependent upon the preferences of the institution, department or individual educator.
While game-based approaches to teaching and learning certainly may still be seen as a fad by many, the outcome of current experiments could see it sticking for the longterm. Calculated investments on that front may be in the best interest of institutions that can afford them, lest they find themselves in the dust later on.