How Do Online Learning Games Determine If Players Achieve The Learning Objectives

The Common Core K-12 Assessment Task Force published a report on their review of over 1000 “online learning games” used in the curricula of schools across the nation.

How Do Online Learning Games Determine If Players Achieve The Learning Objectives

The use of video game content in academic performance is more common these days than I think many people realize. While many people would be quick to throw around the term “online gaming” as something detrimental to a person’s education, it is not. Rather, it is a great teaching tool that is taught through game play.

As educators across the nation debate on how best to be used with their student populations, I often share ideas from HowGamesMeasureLearning (HML). The HML company has developed a learning process based around gamification of education. Their end goal is to use game-based methods to make a direct impact in measurable ways by facilitating critical thinking skills and boosting academic achievement.

HML utilizes game design to encourage learning, with a series of three objective-based activities that get students to think about a particular concept in a different way. As people have made the jump from this type of educational platform to game-based technology in the home, parents have a daunting task at hand. They need to determine if and how they should deploy the gamification and if it will enhance the learning path of their children.

Before I delve too deep, I do want to share a survey that some families have engaged with. The survey is actually aimed at educating families how to better engage their children in learning through engaging online gaming. The survey itself has almost 20 questions, and you can complete it by clicking here. The survey asks questions like:

Which online learning platforms do you use, and how do you monitor your children’s use of those platforms?

If you have used specific online learning apps, the applications you use and the device you use are the same for both schools and for your home? If not, is it important for you to choose the same app, or should each application be differentiated? If you answer yes to these questions, what are your criteria?

Telling your children your “rules” about the apps they use at home, i.e. no apps on your phones, is up to you as a parent. Many parents have tried and pulled back on apps like Hulu and Netflix. It is a good opportunity to discuss these apps with your child as they would be asked in class. It is also an opportunity to actively look at the apps that are being used and see what works best for your family.

If you don’t have a phone, do you have an app on your tablet or laptop? Do you make the distinction between the apps your children use at home and those that are available in class?

One example from the research was that 30% of students used online educational apps at home. However, 32% of the students stated that if they had family computers, they would bring the app to school with them. This same survey also indicates that the 4% who felt there were too many educational apps on their devices, went on to say that an app was “essential” for them to use at home. With this amount of available apps in the industry, it is imperative to get clear on what online educational apps are applicable to the user base and how you are going to get them to actually use them. It is not about using multiple apps, but more about defining them as needs and making them work for the user base.

While parents have typically focused on technology in the home, they are quite comfortable using games in the classroom. If you have not seen the research and survey, I highly recommend them.

This article was written by Spencer Osborne, founder of Marketing Profs. This article was part of a longer version based on a survey of some 1,400 parents that can be viewed here.

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