I’ve just been reading this post by @deangroom and aside from it being an excellent concept it’s got me thinking. Having never really been anything more than a passive gamer (although I did have an extended love affair with all things Mario on the N64 as a teenager), I’ve recently fallen prey to Angry Birds. Angry Birds is an iPad/iPhone game which involves flinging assorted angry birds at various structures holding green pigs, which one must destroy. It is insanely addictive and insanely frustrating.
However. The idea of dailies has got me thinking about exactly what it is that keeps me flinging angry birds day after day, despite my n00b skills. Essentially, it’s the thrill of the conquest – because achievement is broken up into small levels, my ROI for effort is quite good, and I can play for as little or as long as I like whilst still feeling like I’ve achieved something. The satisfaction of killing the pigs keeps me coming back to see if I can get more skills to kill more pigs in better ways. The other genius of Angry Birds is that there’s more than one way to complete a level. You can get an average score for a one-star completion that still allows you to progress to the next level, but once you’re a bit more skilled, you can return to that level and play more efficiently to get two- and three-star completions. Alternatively, you can just be skilled in the first place and knock over three-stars on every level. This is not me. But it would be nice. Additionally, my husband has now got Angry Birds on his iPod Touch, so there’s a nice element of competition.
Currently I’m charged with the task of designing the training program for our impending move to Moodle. With any training program, the real issue is how to get people to engage, particularly those who don’t self-select. Dailies might be at least a partial solution. I’m thinking of a course where staff login once a day, every day, for a very short period of time (Dean makes the excellent point that no-one is too busy to spare 10-15 minutes). The course is built on levels, which must be completed to ‘unlock’ the next level (using Moodle conditionals). Each level can be completed with one-, two- or three-star skills. It’s designed for one level to be done daily, but restrictions are only on completion, not time, so motivated people can rip through the course as fast as they like. Conversely, time-poor people don’t have to try and cram in everything in one go then immediately forget everything (which is the usual mode of operation in LMS training). Let’s just hope that if I build it, they will come.
A side note that I find interesting is the concept of cheating. If I’m getting frustrated on an Angry Birds level I can’t beat, I’ll go to YouTube and look up walkthroughs. My husband thinks this is cheating. I think it’s smart. In a Moodle dailies course, I’d encourage people to ‘cheat’. The more they go outside the course to source tips and skills the better. Bring it on, I say.