Rapid development of games inspired metacognitive learning experiences using moodle and gamemaker

Darryl Charles, Chris Hanna, Richard Paul, Therese Charles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There are many ways that learning metaphors from games may be harnessed in the construction of motivating and effective game based learning (GBL) experiences. However, significant difficulties exist in the creation of GBL software for use within education and GBL related research. Two of the primary difficulties, which provide the focus for this paper, are cost (both time and monetary) and quality. There is often a requirement to build specific games experiences for a particular research investigation that cannot be fulfilled through the use of existing COTS games. However, research budgets rarely offer adequate expenditure to facilitate the construction of bespoke games for learning experiences that compete favourably with commercial games. Additionally, within research teams the expertise and experience necessary for making games is often limited in comparison to an industry based team. This is further compounded by the need for experimental software to be completed before an academic term/semester starts. Failing this requirement often results in the experiment being delayed until the next academic semester or year. In this paper we discuss a short term project undertaken by a development team comprised of two academics and two commercial game developers. With only two weeks of design and development a game based learning solution is created and deployed over a five week period for a class of 2nd year university computing students. This work was intended both as a technological proof-of-concept and as an investigation into the students' reaction to the use of games to enhance their understanding of their learning experience. We report on our design and development experiences within a multidisciplinary team, and in particular discuss the use of Moodle and GameMaker as potentially powerful rapid development/prototyping toolsets. A summary and analysis is provided of the extensive student interaction statistics within the learning system and the associated game. This quantitative information is utilised to inform the discussion of additionally gathered qualitative student feedback regarding the system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2012
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Oct 2012
Event6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 4 Oct 20125 Oct 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012


  • Games-enhanced learning
  • Gamification
  • Metacognition
  • Rapid development


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