Marketing Director Brandon Pittser tapped 2018 as a big year for personalized learning in our most recent EdTech predictions article, citing a series of sizable investments from the Facebook-backed philanthropic powerhouse Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. For those unfamiliar with personalized learning, the term refers to the idea that each learner needs a learning experience that is personal to their own needs, competencies, learning styles, and other characteristics. In a perfect world, all students would have access to a personalized learning environment as well as resources tailor-made for their needs – however, we’re all well aware that this is simply unattainable given the current state of many K12 classrooms.
But what if we could make in-class instruction more personal using the power of digital games?
Video games – of both the commercial or educational variety – constantly record a near endless number of behind-the-scenes gameplay metrics. The number of times a player pushes a specific button on their controller, how long the average player takes to reach the end of a level, or even how many times a player falls off a ledge and fails before finally conquering a challenge – all examples of the types of data being quietly tracked by games.
Now imagine this data applied to monitoring one’s performance in an educational video game. If someone is playing a math learning game and struggling with multiple long division challenges in a row, for instance, the game could automatically flag this and send their performance data to their teacher. With teachers notified of which students are struggling with which specific concepts, they can plan accordingly and provide additional in-class instruction or resources to help each student get back on track.
An example of this concept in practice, each of our Filament Learning games makes use of this data in our included teacher dashboards, allowing teachers to view each player’s progress in achieving standards-based goals, often giving them the ability to provide just-in-time intervention when students need it most. With digital learning games providing instantaneous, real-time feedback on each individual's performance, educators can use this data to adapt their teaching strategies to better fit the individualized needs of each student, in turn leading to more focused use of in-class instruction time and enhanced learning outcomes.
Want a more in-depth look at what makes game-based learning the perfect platform for personalized learning? Check out the informative video below from the fine folks over at Extra Credits!