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#ActualTobl

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hello,

First of all: What age is your target group? That is very important, since kids could mean 2yo as well as 12 and they're easily as different as a 10 and a 40.

Do you think this is a good and encouraging prize?
Simply put: no.
Considering my premise about age: maybe for very young children, but I wouldn't use it for primary school or older.
Why is that? I see two main problems with this approach:
1) From the child's perspective: They simply aren't interested in seeing a picture. They can get much greater stimulus from watching tv or playing other games without having to work for it.
Also, there is no connection between the task they have to complete and the prize they get. Adults have been trained to accept "I have to push buttons on this keyboard in order to eat" (and even in this case there is a connection even though it's artificial), however, kids haven't and don't feel much motivation if the connection isn't clear. Try "you can watch tv after helping with the dishes", no matter how you phrase it, a kid will always see two separate items: the nasty "doing the dishes" and the nice "watch tv".
2) From an educaters perspective: Even if the kid is motivated by just a picture: In your scenario, the child learns that they should learn because they will get a "happy-maker" in return. Actually, a person doesn't aquire such a thing simply by learning stuff. The reason we want kids to learn is that they will be able to do stuff they wouldn't be able to do without that knowledge. In order to to have a solid motivation for learning that cannot easily be broken by outside factors (such as the aforementioned greater sources of fun), a child should understand the connection of learning and being able to do stuff and have that as it's motivation.

What could be done instead? I know this may sound like a step back and maybe it is, but bear with me for a moment:
First, instead of awarding them with a inherently worthless picture, try awarding them with a point-system. Children either have already learned or are in the process of learning a common system in which a simple number can carry a value (-> money). Of course those points shouldn't come out of nowhere, so instead of giving them a fictional currency (gold-bits, fantasia-dollars) or abbreviated exp. (which is just a random assortment of letters), give them "learning points" or experience (written in full length), which are a representation of the knowledge that they are accumulating in their heads. Now they have a way of measuring how much they have learned (of course their knowledge and points differ greatly, but it's close enough if they can see that both are growing).
Now for the second step: Have them understand that their points and therefore their knowledge actually is worth something. The best solution here is, of course, to implement the application of points directly into the game. However, I don't know your game and therefore cannot tell if or how that is possible. But even if that is not possible in your game, you can still utilize the fantasy, more specifically the empathy of the children. You already have a representation of the childs knowledge, why not also have a representation of the child itself? Let them make a character in the beginning. Then, as they gather more and more points, they can buy abilities for their character. Have the child choose between different abilities and also show them such that are slightly out of reach. They don't have to be able to use them ingame, it's simply enough for them to be able to say "Hey, my character is able to identify eadible mushrooms and in two or three days he'll finally be able to speak orcish" (yes, terribly cliched fantasy-setting, but feel free to do something better ^^). Because it identifies himself with the character and choose the abilities himself, it will understand that by learning it will actually be able to become who it want's to be.
At least in my opinion, that should be a better motivation than looking at a picture.

Can you think of a nice way/effect to reveal the parts of picture ?
I'm not going to answer this right now, because it is totally out of place to begin with. If you're asking whether your general concept is good, don't ask about most specific implementations in the next sentence. If you have thought about my, and hopefully also other's, replies to the first question and still want to use images, ask again and I'll try to come up with something.


Also, make sure to watch EC's episode on gamifying education. The methods may not be directly applicable to an educative game, but try to understand the underlying reasons why stuff is being done that way and why it's assumed to work. Those reasons most certainly are applicable.

bw,
Tobl

#2Tobl

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hello,

First of all: What age is your target group? That is very important, since kids could mean 2yo as well as 12 and they're easily as different as a 10 and a 40.

Do you think this is a good and encouraging prize?
Simply put: no.
Considering my premise about age: maybe for very young children, but I wouldn't use it for primary school or older.
Why is that? I see two main problems with this approach:
1) From the child's perspective: They simply aren't interested in seeing a picture. They can get much greater stimulus from watching tv or playing other games without having to work for it.
Also, there is no connection between the task they have to complete and the prize they get. Adults have been trained to accept "I have to push buttons on this keyboard in order to eat" (and even in this case there is a connection even though it's artificial), however, kids haven't and don't feel much motivation if the connection isn't clear. Try "you can watch tv after helping with the dishes", no matter how you phrase it, a kid will always see two separate items: the nasty "doing the dishes" and the nice "watch tv".
2) From an educaters perspective: Even if the kid is motivated by just a picture: In your scenario, the child learns that they should learn because they will get a "happy-maker" in return. Actually, a person doesn't aquire such a thing simply by learning stuff. The reason we want kids to learn is that they will be able to do stuff they wouldn't be able to do without that knowledge. In order to to have a solid motivation for learning that cannot easily be broken by outside factors (such as the aforementioned greater sources of fun), a child should understand the connection of learning and being able to do stuff and have that as it's motivation.

What could be done instead? I know this may sound like a step back and maybe it is, but bear with me for a moment:
First, instead of awarding them with a inherently worthless picture, try awarding them with a point-system. Children either have already learned or are in the process of learning a common system in which a simple number can carry a value (-> money). Of course those points shouldn't come out of nowhere, so instead of giving them a fictional currency (gold-bits, fantasia-dollars) or abbreviated exp. (which is just a random assortment of letters), give them "learning points" or experience (written in full length), which are a representation of the knowledge that they are accumulating in their heads. Now they have a way of measuring how much they have learned (of course their knowledge and points differ greatly, but it's close enough if they can see that both are growing).
Now for the second step: Have them understand that their points and therefore their knowledge actually is worth something. The best solution here is, of course, to implement the application of points directly into the game. However, I don't know your game and therefore cannot tell if or how that is possible. But even if that is not possible in your game, you can still utilize the fantasy, more specifically the empathy of the children. You already have a representation of the childs knowledge, why not also have a representation of the child itself? Let them make a character in the beginning. Then, as they gather more and more points, they can buy abilities for their character. Have the child choose between different abilities and also show them such that are slightly out of reach. They don't have to be able to use them ingame, it's simply enough for them to be able to say "Hey, my character is able to identify eadible mushrooms and in two or three days he'll finally be able to speak orcish" (yes, terribly cliched fantasy-setting, but feel free to do something better ^^). Because it identifies himself with the character and choose the abilities himself, it will understand that by learning it will actually be able to become who it want's to be.
At least in my opinion, that should be a better motivation than looking at a picture.

Can you think of a nice way/effect to reveal the parts of picture ?
I'm not going to answer this right now, because it is totally out of place to begin with. If you're asking whether your general concept is good, don't ask about most specific implementations in the next sentence. If you have thought about my, and hopefully also other's, replies to the first question and still want to use images, ask again and I'll try to come up with something.


Also, make sure to watch EC's episode on gamifying education. The methods may not be directly applicable to an educative game, but try to understand the underlying reasons why stuff is being done that way and why it's assumed to work. Those reasons most certainly are applicable.

bw,
Tobl

#1Tobl

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:39 PM

Hello,

First of all: What age is your target group? That is very important, since kids could mean 2yo as well as 12 and they're easily as different as a 10 and a 40.

Do you think this is a good and encouraging prize?
Simply put: no.
Considering my premise about age: maybe for very young children, but I wouldn't use it for primary school or older.
Why is that? I see two main problems with this approach:
1) From the child's perspective: They simply aren't interested in seeing a picture. They can get much greater stimulus from watching tv or playing other games without having to work for it.
Also, there is no connection between the task they have to complete and the prize they get. Adults have been trained to accept "I have to push buttons on this keyboard in order to eat" (and even in this case, at least there is a connection even though it's artificial), however, kids haven't and don't feel much motivation if the connection isn't clear. Try "you can watch tv after helping with the dishes", no matter how you phrase it, a kid will always see two separate items: the nasty "doing the dishes" and the nice "watch tv".
2) From an educaters perspective: Even if the kid is motivated by just a picture: In your scenario, the child learns that they should learn because they will get a "happy-maker" in return. Actually, a person doesn't aquire such a thing simply by learning stuff. The reason we want kids to learn is that they will be able to do stuff they wouldn't be able to do without that knowledge. In order to to have a solid motivation for learning that cannot easily be broken by outside factors (such as the aforementioned greater sources of fun), a child should understand the connection of learning and being able to do stuff and have that as it's motivation.

What could be done instead? I know this may sound like a step back and maybe it is, but bear with me for a moment:
First, instead of awarding them with a inherently worthless picture, try awarding them with a point-system. Children either have already learned or are in the process of learning a common system in which a simple number can carry a value (-> money). Of course those points shouldn't come out of nowhere, so instead of giving them a fictional currency (gold-bits, fantasia-dollars) or abbreviated exp. (which is just a random assortment of letters), give them "learning points" or experience (written in full length), which are a representation of the knowledge that they are accumulating in their heads. Now they have a way of measuring how much they have learned (of course their knowledge and points differ greatly, but it's close enough if they can see that both are growing).
Now for the second step: Have them understand that their points and therefore their knowledge actually is worth something. The best solution here is, of course, to implement the application of points directly into the game. However, I don't know your game and therefore cannot tell if or how that is possible. But even if that is not possible in your game, you can still utilize the fantasy, more specifically the empathy of the children. You already have a representation of the childs knowledge, why not also have a representation of the child itself? Let them make a character in the beginning. Then, as they gather more and more points, they can buy abilities for their character. Have the child choose between different abilities and also show them such that are slightly out of reach. They don't have to be able to use them ingame, it's simply enough for them to be able to say "Hey, my character is able to identify eadible mushrooms and in two or three days he'll finally be able to speak orcish" (yes, terribly cliched fantasy-setting, but feel free to do something better ^^). Because it identifies himself with the character and choose the abilities himself, it will understand that by learning it will actually be able to become who it want's to be.
At least in my opinion, that should be a better motivation than looking at a picture.

Can you think of a nice way/effect to reveal the parts of picture ?
I'm not going to answer this right now, because it is totally out of place to begin with. If you're asking whether your general concept is good, don't ask about most specific implementations in the next sentence. If you have thought about my, and hopefully also other's, replies to the first question and still want to use images, ask again and I'll try to come up with something.


Also, make sure to watch EC's episode on gamifying education. The methods may not be directly applicable to an educative game, but try to understand the underlying reasons why stuff is being done that way and why it's assumed to work. Those reasons most certainly are applicable.

bw,
Tobl

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