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Game module philosophy

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Moodle is a software package designed to create Internet-based courses and web sites. It is a global development project designed within a social constructionist framework of education and was designed by Martin Dougiamas from Australia as a component of his PhD. The term Moodle accounts for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is provided free as open-source software, under the GNU Public License, and can run on a system that supports PHP, while it is possible to combine with various types of databases, particularly MySQL. Moreover, it has been translated into 81 languages (up to January 2010).

The features of Moodle could be divided in three main categories. First, Moodle includes interactive activities such as assignments, live discussion (chat), surveys, forums, glossaries, quizzes, collaborative writing of texts, research, polls and games. Secondly, various applications are incorporated in the Moodle environment, such as a text processor, a calendar, a search engine and a logging system. Finally, there are some general type features, such as creation of backup copies, available help system, regrouping of users as well as assigning users to courses and providing them with a role and specific rights in that context.

 

Glossary

Question

Game

 

Short answer

Multiple choice

Yes/No

Hangman

X

X

 

 

Crossword

X

X

 

 

Cryptex

X

X

 

 

Millionaire

 

 

X

 

Sudoku

X

X

X

X

The hidden picture

X

X

X

X

Book with questions

 

X

X

X

Which types of questions each game accepts

 

A crossword can be exported in the form of a web page and uploaded in a site in which case it does not change every time a student visits the site but the same form appears to all students. The Hangman game can be exported in the form of a website or a jar file and be used in mobile phones which support Java2Me applications. In the latter case, questions can appear either in a verbal form or a picture.

It is being disposed free for use with GPL authorization from the official site of Moodle in the category of contributors’ modules. The documentation is readily available for English, Greek and French at the official site at http://docs.moodle.org/en/Game_module. It was initially written in the Greek language but has already been translated into 13 languages: Albanian, Basque, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

All games have a similar screen of parameters as well as similar requirements in the entry questions and thus the same questions can be presented in the form of different games (Fig. 1). It should be pointed out that there is a differentiation from the majority of games where each game requires a variety of questions and has different ways of parameterization. The game “The hidden picture” also uses a second dictionary with pictures. What is important is that very little time is required on the part of the teacher for the parameterization of the games.

Figure 1. Screenshot of game parameters