Example of a crossword

In a recent survey I conducted, most of my younger students complained that Moodle is not ‘fun’ enough and that they would like to see more use of educational games. I have already discussed and quickly reviewed the ‘Game’ module but today I’d like to focus on the ‘Crossword’ component of the module.

Example of a crossword

Example of a crossword

Here is a video showing you the crossword in action

I have found the crossword to be versatile and have used it for the following:

  • Vocabulary learning & revision
    • Very useful for exam groups in subjects where a lot of topic specific vocabulary is used, spelling tests etc.
  • As a ‘fill in the gap’ activity
    • A    – – – – – – – cannot change its spots
  • As a ‘synonym’ activity
    • I am a synonym for the word famished: – – – – – – –
  • As an ‘antonym’ activity
    • I am an antonym for the word hungry: – – – – – – – –
  • As a research activity/quiz
    • I am the capital city of Vietnam: – – – – –
  • As a means to test my students’ knowledge on a topic
    • A different take on a test, which appeals to some students, but not all

For the activities in blue, make sure you use a ‘hidden’ glossary so that students cannot see the answers.

I love the fact that the grades can be stored in the gradebook automatically. It provides me with an extra tool to monitor my students’ progress and make sure that the activities are completed.

Students between 11 and 18 years old at my current school really enjoy using the crossword and I have found that it has helped my less able students learn and retain vocabulary. This is probably due to the fact that they can try as many times as they want, until they get ‘100%’, but I have no way to be sure of that.

Please feel free to add your own ideas to this post by commenting. I will add your ideas to the body of the post and link to your blog/Twitter/Facebook if you send a link. You can also have a stab at answering the examples above 😉

Walking through the school corridors, I often overhear comments such as “I don’t like ——– (insert subject here) because it’s booooring” or “I love ——— (insert subject here) because it’s soooo fun, we play games all the time”. This post deals with making Moodle more interesting and engaging for students, especially the younger ones.

I recently conducted a student survey at my current school (High School only) and found out that “more games” is the most requested feature by the lower High School students.

The ‘Game‘ module for Moodle was first released in 2008 and has been actively maintained ever since. The idea behind it is to use some of the content already existing in your Moodle courses to create engaging activities. You’ll be able to make games in no time if you already have questions in your question bank, quizzes, or even better – glossaries. If you don’t, you’ll have to make create some first – I recommend glossaries as they are compatible with most types of games and quick to make. So far, teachers can create 8 different types of games:

  • Hangman
  • Crossword
  • Cryptex (word search)
  • Hidden picture
  • Millionaire (a barebones version of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?)
  • Sudoku
  • Snakes & Ladders

You can see full reviews, as well as training videos (in full HD!) for each type of games by clicking on the list above. (coming soon, promise)

From experience, only ‘Crossword’ and ‘Millionaire’ appeal to older students (16+) while ‘Snakes & Ladders’ and ‘Hangman’ are most suited to younger students (12-). Middle school students are a pretty easy crowd to please and will happily play any of the games mentioned above.

Some of the games have a more obvious educational benefit, for example ‘Crossword’ or ‘Millionaire’ while some seem a little ‘gimmicky’ (Hidden picture). I have however been able to use all types of games to help students with their learning and you can see some real life examples on the individual review pages (click on the list above).

Although there are a few (minor) bugs, the developer has done a great job at listening to users’ feedback to improve his module. I recommend you strongly to download it and give it a try.

Check out the individual reviews to get the most of this module.