Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Children evaluate educational games

17.09.2012
Is it possible to create suitable and amusing educational computer games? Can you use qualities from other types of games? And what do the children really think of these kinds of games?

Wolmet Barendregt, from The University of Gothenburg, conducts research on children's game playing, how we can support learning with design and include the children in the design process.

And Wolmet Barendregt certainly involves the children very much in her research. During the Science Festival's school program in April this year, over a hundred preschool children attended a creative game workshop to evaluate the game Fingu. Fingu is a mathematical game for iPad where players use their fingers to get a feel for the numbers and thus a better understanding of them.

– Working with children is both fun and challenging because you never know what will happen, says Wolmet. It is difficult to find suitable methods to use for children when evaluating. Children cannot verbalize, but they can draw. At the Science Festival, we tested a method of evaluation, Drawing Intervention, which some researchers advocate for children because they do not have to verbalize.

Wolmet Barendregt however recognizes that it is problematic to know how much you influence yourself in what you say during the instructions and how much the different groups affect each other when they are in the same room. The children's past experiences, what other games they have played, certainly affects the outcome as well.

– There were two main things that we learned about Fingu while testing this method. Curiosity and imagination could be improved, she explains.

– Well, the kids think that some are funny, Wolmet answers. Many games are about solving tasks, and then the developers have added stuff around it so that it resembles a game. Sometimes the kids see through that.

Wolmet says that in Fingu focus is more on how children learn basic arithmetic using their fingers. She admits that there are some things to develop in order to create a really fun game and that the risk of so-called educational games in general is that they are either too educational and boring, or fun-filled but without any learning opportunities.

– It's a fairly limited game and therefore may not encourage a lot of playing, but many children still play it several times. I have noticed that the interest in the game sometimes returns when the children realize that they have become better at certain things and therefore can reach higher levels, Wolmet says.

At a recent conference, "Interaction Design and Children", a conference focusing on children's needs and how to design for them, Wolmet Barendregt presented another study of Fingu and children playing the game where the analysis was of their development in the game. At the same conference Wolmet also presented a research project that studies how parents and children are playing so-called cooperative video games together where collaboration is necessary to get ahead in the game.

– We have seen that game design affects the interaction between children and parents, especially when there is a difference in skills, something which is not uncommon. In some games, the player who is the best can help the other player who is not as good. In other cases, the player who is not so good restrains the more skilled player, and there are also games where both can explore things even if they are not euqally skilled, says Wolmet. We seek a deeper understanding of how different game design affects how you play together and what mechanisms can and cannot be used for educational games.

This project (GRO) is sponsored by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation and is also a part of the research conducted at the The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS) funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Developing reliable quantum computers
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index started off well in 2018

22.02.2018 | Business and Finance

FAU researchers demonstrate that an oxygen sensor in the body reduces inflammation

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Histology in 3D: new staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>