I'll admit, I like the idea of quest-based learning, but I don't think it's really the "quick-fix" that 3D GameLab makes it out to be. For one, it's hard to fit it in to a "regular" grade-based system which is what most of us have to deal with. Two it's hard to make multiple pathways that cover all the "required competencies" as just one person. (I heard someone talking about educational models say something like "hybrids are made by a team of people", and just laughed. I want to live in that world someday.)
Anyways, to the original question. Whether or not quest-based-learning is gamification really depends on how you define gamification. If you define gamification as "using game-like elements in non-game settings", then yes, quest based learning is gamification. We are applying game-like elements (XP, quests, achievements, badges) to school. As I've said with many things though, there's no need for the "game" narrative to get the benefits of quest-based learning.
Using XP instead of a weighted grade is just switching from a negative reinforcement system to a positive reinforcement system. Quests could easily be called "modules" or "learning paths" or "taos" and they'd still allow students to choose the method/content that looks most interesting to them. Badges and achievements are ways of recognizing milestones, and could be colored belts, titles, medals/awards, and still serve the same purpose.
Despite all my nay-saying, it'll be interesting to poke around 3D GameLab with the student account. One of the many things that looks interesting, but not quite high enough priority for me to spend the time/money on my own.
One thing that I'm noticing about the Quest Based Learning in the 3D Games lab so far is that it's surprisingly linear to begin with. I see that it branches out more as you go further into it, though.
In trying to figure this all out, I liken this to quests in WoW. Let's say for one specific week you want students to learn techniques A, B, and C. Each builds on the previous technique. You build three variations on each one. So, quest 1 covers technique A in three different ways. Quest 2 covers technique B in three different ways. Quest 3 covers technique C in three different ways. (Sorry for all the chat about "techniques" here. I teach computer graphics/design classes!)
You bet it would be more work! It does integrate the power of choice, though, which I find boosts student investment a LOT.
If each has a different "origin story", how different do the variations have to be? Pearson's Office books are masters at this. They're all about how So-and-so needs to make a spreadsheet for thus-and-so-reason. You flip back to the additional case studies in the back of the chapter and they're eerily similar, lol!
BlueApp: "(I heard someone talking about educational models say something like "hybrids are made by a team of people", and just laughed. I want to live in that world someday.)" Yeah...me too. :-D We tend to build our classes as we go, though, so maybe this idea of quest-based learning gives us another way to grow as we update our classes?
Maybe I'm missing the point of Quest-based learning, here, I don't know. Building out an entire course like this would be a huge undertaking, but could have some great ROI.
"We tend to build our classes as we go, though, so maybe this idea of quest-based learning gives us another way to grow as we update our classes?"
I like this idea in theory, but haven't yet found it to work in practice. If there's ever a semester where I'm *not* building a new course, and/or rebuilding a course due to updated software/text/delivery model/etc. I plan to give this a try. :)
@missrithenay I haven't figured that out yet either. I'm hoping those in charge will clue us in when the holidays are over.