Adaptive Learning Through Gaming the Next Step in Education
Adaptive learning may be the next step in the right direction for education reform. Some are concerned with whether an online education course can really compete with the “school experience.” In a Forbes article published earlier today, educator Tom Lindsay reveals a new way that students may be able to learn outside of a classroom setting: gaming platforms.
PaGamO is a new online education platform designed in Taipei City, Taiwan. Just introduced in the US, PaGamO takes math homework assignments and turns them into competitive virtual games. This elearning platform follows the models of games such as “Settlers of Catan” and “Risk.” Students compete with each other to build civilizations based on wealth, knowledge, and land ownership. These rewards are earned through answering math homework questions and taking mini-quizzes.
The PaGamO elearning platform also employs an element of artificial intelligence: it analyzes a student’s abilities in real-time, then adapts to that student’s learning style. In addition to being an elearning source, it is also a source for adaptive learning. For example, it will assess what the student is stronger and weaker in, and will gear its content toward a curriculum that’s conducive to that student’s learning capacity.
Students have responded very positively to the PaGamO adaptive learning platform. Forbes reported that around 90 percent of students feel the elearning platform has helped enhance their subject knowledge. Students have also said that PaGamO has helped them move onto more challenging subjects faster. It has proven to be effective in both K-12 and higher educaton.
It’s easy to see what benefits elearning platforms such as PaGamO might have for students, and instructors are beginning to see the benefits it might have as a teaching method as well. In a classroom of twenty or more students, it’s very difficult for an instructor to really get to know each student’s learning style and capacity. Elearning platforms such as PaGamO would be useful for instructors: they could use the data that the platform gathers to better their teaching methods.
While PaGamO might not end the debate on elearning and adaptive learning, it may help education become more accessible to today’s students. Many school-age kids are glued to their laptops and phones, and elearning provides platforms that go directly to a laptop or handheld device. Bringing education to kids seems to have a higher success rate, and online education is definitely a step in the right direction.
Sarah Samel is an Emerson College senior Writing, Literature and Publishing student focusing on young adult fiction. When she’s not browsing bookstores, she’s blogging or jotting down ideas for new poems and stories.