Integrating an Educational Game in Moodle LMS

Integrating an Educational Game in Moodle LMS

Miroslav Minovic, Miloš Milovanovic, Jelena Minovic, Dušan Starcevic
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2012100102
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The authors present a learning platform based on a computer game. Learning games combine two industries: education and entertainment, which is often called “Edutainment.” The game is realized as a strategic game (similar to Risk™), implemented as a module for Moodle CMS, utilizing Java Applet technology. Moodle is an open-source course management system (CMS), which is widely used among universities as an eLearning platform. Java Applet enables development of rich-client applications which are executed in web browser environment. During the game, players receive questions from specified Moodle quiz, and all answers are stored back into Moodle system. Students can later verify their score and answers, and examine the test that they actually worked on during the game. This system supports synchronous as well as asynchronous interaction between players.
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2. E-Learning

E-learning is an universal term, in common use it describes learning using a computer. It often includes different devices as personal digital assistant (PDA), mobile phones and similar. However, all this devices, in order of its way of working, are mini computers. And e-learning could be defined as learning by using the computer. Also, e-learning involves materials based on web technologies, as well as hypermedia content (multimedia CD-ROM, web site, discussion forum, collaboration software, electronic mail, blog, wiki, educational animation, simulation, games, course management system and others). Often e-learning used combination of different methods.

E-learning is a natural extension of distance learning as a way presented from 1930, when first corresponding school was established.

Today, e-learning in higher and high education tends to form Virtual Learning Environment - VLE, which in conjunction with controlled information system became Managed Learning Environment - MLE. This environment distinguishes itself by consistent user interface standardized in an entire educational institution. More and more universities, classical as well as virtual, offer internet diplomas and courses. Some of them require student presence in campus, but some of them could be fully completed online.

E-learning advantages are flexibility and convenience for users, especially when they have other occupations. In that case good communication between students, adaptation to student needs, diversity in contrast to classical courses, presence of multimedia content is used to simplify material acquisition.

Different authors emphasize shortcomings such as lack of interaction with the instructor and physical isolation of the student. Some of them state that this type of process is not educational, viewed from strictly philosophical aspect. First issue can be partly resolved by using video and audio conferencing systems on the net. And student isolation can be partially replaced by using forums, chat services and other modes of online communications.

There is a question whether E-learning is worth investing in? Because of high initial costs, this can be compensated only through mass offer. Development of network software can appear to be an expensive investment. Also, instating adaptable educational material can prove to be a lasting process in contrast to classical material. Transition from traditional to e-learning, requires significant amount of financial resources for teachers training in hardware and in software.

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