Effective use of Guerra Scale in Moodle

Posted: June 1, 2010 in e-learning, e-teachuk, effective use, elearning, enhancing, guerra, moodle, muppetmasteruk, pedagogic, scale, tutorial
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I have just finished producing a short manual “Guerra Scale and Moodle” after coming a across a short article by ASTD “The Guerra Scale”” by Tim Guerra & Dan Heffernan http://www.astd.org/LC/2004/0304_guerra.htm . This got me thinking about linking their concept with Moodle.

The basic concept behind the Guerras Scale is the scale outlines the range of content that can be found and used online. It is a scale of one to ten with an increase in interactivity, in which one involves the common experience of simply reading notes/text on screen and ten which denotes total virtual reality.


Each step up the scale “represents an increase in complexity, functionality, development time, demands for programming skill, demands for instructions design versatility, and demands for more patience and attention from subject matter experts. http://www.astd.org/LC/2004/0304_guerra.htm

Guerra Scale Characteristics

• GS1 is a simple PDF file document.
• GS2 is what many folks in the industry deem a page turner.
• GS3 adds what we refer to as dynamic feedback to tests.
• GS4 integrates movement to the text and graphics.
• GS5 adds elements of multimedia, including audio and static or moving graphics.
• GS6 enables users to input information, which results in a printable workbook after completion of the module.
• GS7 provides users with a knowledge repository in a number of possible ways.
• GS8 adds realistic simulations that use a branching methodology
• GS9 adds real life coaching from top performers and managers.(Role Playing)
• GS10 virtual reality simulations.

Application to Moodle

The table below indicates how a typical Moodle course could be designed to maintain student engagement based on Guerra Scale.

Guerra and Hefferman refer to a zone between GS4 (Guerra’s Scale) and GS7 as the “MTV Culture”; studies indicate that to maintain learners level of engagement it was advisable to place activities and sub activities within this zone ie:-

• Motion (in text, powerpoint etc)
• Multimedia (Video, static photos, audio)
• user input workbook (printable at end)
• and knowledge repository (communities (Wiki, Blog, Twitter)

Question for thought

Guerra Scale was first published in 2004, with computer technology and the advent of mobile learning maybe we should be considering how and where the following aspects could be integrated into Guerra Scale.

• Where does Augmented reality fit?
• Where does social networking fit in?

Full Manual





The Guerra Scale Tim Guerra & Dan Heffernan http://www.astd.org/LC/2004/0304_guerra.htm

Applying Pedagogical Concepts in Online Course Development: Experiences from the Mediterranean Virtual University



Issues of choosing the suitable Virtual Learning Environment

  1. Tim Hunt says:

    I am rather disappointed that this scale puts Quiz with feedback at number 3. (I'm the maintainer of the Moodle quiz module.)To start with, it is perfectly possible to have a quiz question that is based on a video or audio clip, so doesn't that logically mean that quiz is at least further along the scale than 5.Then, students enter answers into the quiz, so a quiz is at least a user-input workbook, but actually a quiz is more. The student gets instant feedback on what they have done.I know there are plenty of online quizzes that are just a few crappy multiple-guess questions, but that is like saying that most online multimedia is annoying adverts, it is not relevant when talking about quality online learning.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Tim, thanks for you comments and I do agree, I myself have created quizzes within Moodle with embedded video and audio and they are received favourably by the students. I think what Guerras line is that interactivity and retention was one of their main focus ie retaining students within the online course. Their (Guerra and Hefferman) studies found that quizzes with feedback were not as effective in the retention of students. On that basis that is why I have suggested a course needs to have an overall Guerra "score" falling within the MTV zone (GS4 to GS7) which would encourage students to use and revist the site. I think a course requires several elements taken from lower levels to higher levels of the scale to create an all round online course with strong pedagogic content. Maybe it is time to modify Guerras scale and move it forward and have video quizzes with feedback in GS5; and like I said where does AR and Social Networking fit in?Thanks for the comments and feedback.

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