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Games for learning

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Hey, I have been asked to contribute towards some ideas for a 'learning object'. The purpose of a 'learning object' is to assist school students and other users of a website to make maximum use of the facilities it provides. Some of the objectives of the learning objects include: 1. building a vocabulary 2. locate and use informaiton within the website In order to capture the attention of the school students and make the learning experience fun, I would like to see the learning objects incorporate a game. For example, for the vocabulary, it could be an adventure game in which the character (played by the student) walks around in a world full of interesting creatures which the character interacts with. Upon each interaction, the character is asked a series of questions relating to the words in the vocab and the player has to answer them - answering the questions may require the player to go on another journey or to play a quick mini game - something as simple as hangman - to find the word for the vocab. It could even be like jeopardy - the player gets the definition of a word and then has to find the correct word for that definition. These are just a few quick ideas that I have come up with as I'm writing this. I would be very interested to hear other peoples ideas about this and would be grateful for any and all suggestions!! Thanks! J-Ral

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I would include variations of the words in use. A game where we choose the synonym of a given word. Word jumbles, where the letters are mixed up and in a time limit the user has to unscramble the word. Crosswords included too.

Other than that, there was an old school game that as a kid I played, and learned how to type. It was a race vs. an NPC, and the rate at which the user types the on-screen letters, their runner runs fast. Make a typo, and the runner trips up and falls behind in the race. I chose this over Oregon trail, and became a very fast typist at an early age, and it could be easily transformed into a vocabulary game as well.

How about a shooting range? A word pops up in the screen, the user points & clicks at the letteres on screen (jumbled up, some moving, some stable) and shoot the letters in order to spell the word. Give the user the score based on the length of the word, and the speed which it was spelled.. For harder levels, make it a voice that says the word, rather than displaying the spelled out word for the user on-screen.

I could come up with more suggestions, but a coworker is leaving because he is sick and I need to take over his work! :-)

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I spent some time porting educational games to Linux for my school last year. Most of the games they were using were what you would expect and not really games in my opinion.

They had crosswords and quizes which didn't really get a great response from the students. They didn't really work because ther was no payoff for the player. If you could give them interesting rewards, sound/visual effects or a highscore board, then it might be more successful.

They had a few shooting games though that the students enjoyed. The games were based on you moving a space ship as words came falling down the screen. There was a word at the bottom of the screen in english and you had to shoot the word in the other language. If you hit the right word you got a point, if you got a wrong answer you lost a point. There was a series of levels with different vocab in each. This worked because it was recocnizable as a "game" and there was the payoff - seeing the word explode, the sounds of hitting words and shooting. The game might have been better if there had been a central score board.

The one thing I've found lacking in educational games for schools is that it is very difficult for teachers to guage students progress. I would say you should integrate a login / reporting system so that the teachers can bring up a students records. You could integrate this with the globally visible high score system to make the login system feel less big-brothery.

That is if you are making games for installation in school systems. If you are making a website then the login/tracking thing doesn't really work. I couldn't make out what the project is from the original post.

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