How I Use It
3D Gamelab is primarily a gamification based Learning Management System. Like any learning management system (LMS) the power still resides in the teacher, not in the program. So, used effectively by a master teacher, 3D Gamelab can produce amazing results.
I have used this program for a virtual environment project I developed for students and teachers. The students used this to keep track of their work and follow along with the assignments. The virtual world piece was separate, but 3D Gamelab linked the quest based assignments.
Students were very engaged because it allowed them to go at their own pace, all the while keeping track of their place within the class through the leaderboard. The feedback system built into the program, keeps the student on task and with their end goals in mind.
From a teacher standpoint the set up takes a little time and the format takes some time getting used to, but once those are in place, the teacher side of this program becomes easier. What's important is to make sure you, as a teacher, have an overall gameplan of the learning objectives and the completion time for each task.
Teachers can give and receive quality feedback on student progress and have the ability to communicate quickly and easily to provide "just in time" comments for students. The system looks almost identical to many video game platforms, so most students will easily understand the game based vocabulary that goes along with the program, i.e. XP or Experience Points.
Since this program runs on a game based platform, teachers will need to keep up with the vocabulary that this type of system brings with it, so they can keep up with their students. When a teacher gets an account they have to take an intro professional development course which guides them through the research based practices and helps them set up the program for their students.
Overall I would recommend 3DGamelab and I see its potential as an amazing way to power a course or a classroom. The start up features are very well developed and students will love using it as a way to keep track of their progress. The feature I like best is that it really allows the student to work at their own pace and provides teachers with various learning level options for differentiation.
I am a little concerned about the pricing structure of the program. They had been promising a free version for teachers with limited features, but I have not seen that materialize as of this writing. There is no longer a mention of the free teacher version so I am guessing that is no longer an option. In today's tight budget world for schools, free versions are really helpful to get started with a program before going to full implementation.