Open-ended activities

Hi everybody,

Sometimes my knowledge of English is not enough: in an article ((e-Learning Industry) Low cost gamification: Remembering the Gamification Essentials)) they say:

'More open-ended activities help learners feel more like invested participants and less liuke experimental subjects'

I really have no idea what they mean: can you give me an example of an open ended activity?


4 Replies
Christy Tucker

At a broad level, closed questions are ones where you give learners a set list of choices and they have to choose from your list. They're sometimes called "forced choice" questions. True/False and Multiple Choice questions are both closed questions.

Open-ended questions are those where the learner has freedom in how to answer it. In an assessment, this might look like a text box where learners type their own text.

In the context of that article, I think the author is talking more about game design and how open or closed the game is. If there's only one linear path for the game, it's more closed. If learners get to pick what they do first and in which order and there are lots of ways to complete the activity, it's more open-ended. Open-ended gamification tends to give learners chances to make mistakes and often to correct those mistakes.

Here's one example of a more open-ended simulation. This is a fairly complex example, but it should give you an idea.

Does that help?

If you're interested in learning more about games and gamification, I recommend reading Karl Kapp's blog and books. He's great about reviewing the research about what does and doesn't work, but he also explains it so it's easier to understand.

Tineke Porschen

Oh yes, I remember this one! Loved it. It's making more and more sense now.  It is not always possible in a course (sometimes the answer is just one answer), but giving (young) learners the ability to choose in what order they do things to get to an answer, is also a bit ' open' i guess. Thank you Nancy for sharing!