Case: next-level trip gamification with Peek at WUR

In Spring 2023, WUR lecturer Steven Driever decided to take trip gamification to another level. After an expert course in ‘gamified design’, Steven poured his passion for teaching, creative skills, and R scripting skills in the Peek app.

The result? A happier and smarter student batch this year!

Using gamification elements in our excursion helped to re-think what we wanted students to learn. And what motivates them. It helped to align the content of the excursion with their background and interests in a fun way. The students seemed to like this type of scavenger-hunt style of excursion.

Steven Driever, Assistant Professor at the Wageningen University

A quest for crops (and coins!)

The sandbox where the students (and let’s face it, also for Steven and us) played with this educational game was the Cropping System course at Wageningen University. More specifically: the WUR experimental cropping fields. The core of this course is crop identification 🔎🌾.

The Peek app was used to question the students about the plants they identified at different locations. The twist: for every right answer, the students were rewarded with a virtual coin! 🟡

In 2024, this excursion was nominated for the ‘Excursion of the Year Award’ by Peek. See Steven explain about the excursion in this video:

Gamification on another level, supported by R

The value of these coins was set to the most valuable currency of students… which is obviously not beer or pizza, but exam questions.

But this prize required dedication from the students. For every couple of coins, a letter could be unlocked. With the collected letters, the students were given a shot at a classical game of hangman… guess the word!

Steven showed himself to be Peek pro user by following #10 of the 10 pro tips for pro trips: think smartly about the submissions you want to get back from the students. With tens or hundreds of students in the field at the same time, the submissions can easily become overwhelming.

Our standard Peek CSV export function can be a great help to keep track of the submitted answers by the students. This can easily be done in MS Excel.

Obviously, inventor-minded Steven also took this to the next level: he wrote an R-script that automatically read the Peek CSV file, processed the right answers per group, and returned the graph above.

Teamwork makes the dream(-exam) work

To top it of with another didactic layer, the students had to work together as a team. While they were all going around in the field in small groups, the students were following different routes.

And indeed, that meant that rather than competing and sabotaging eachother, the students needed eachother to collect all the coins! With enough coins to guess the word above, they finally got their reward: one example question for their exams.

PS. If you read this and you actually guessed the word above, do not hesitate to share this with us. We might not be able to help you with exams, but perhaps with another reward.