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Research Roundup: Personalized Learning and Game-based Learning for K-12 Students

Personalized learning is a pedagogical approach that recognizes that students have different strengths, weaknesses, interests, and learning preferences. By customizing instruction to cater to these individual needs, personalized learning enhances student engagement, motivation, and academic achievement. It empowers students to take ownership of their learning and provides educators with valuable insights to inform their teaching practices. We’ve already covered why we believe game-based learning and personalized learning are a winning combination – but what have researchers found on this topic? 

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In this blog post, we will explore several different studies that incorporate game-based learning into personalized learning approaches. Before we bust out our magnifying glasses to investigate, give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with all things game-based learning! Also, bookmark this page so you can easily find it later. 

Efficacy of an Adaptive Game-Based Math Learning App to Support Personalized Learning and Improve Early Elementary School Students’ Learning

This first study investigated the impact of My Math Academy, a personalized math learning program, on kindergarten and first-grade students. The program provided tailored content and adaptive assessments to support existing curricula. Researchers discovered that students using My Math Academy showed significant learning gains in math compared to the control group. The program’s effectiveness was particularly pronounced for students with lower initial math knowledge, where there was more room for improvement, and for teaching challenging math skills! 

Additionally, teachers found My Math Academy easy to use and recognized it as a valuable resource that improved student engagement, motivation, and confidence in math learning. Overall, this study provides strong evidence that a combination of game-based learning and personalized learning positively enhances early math skills while keeping students interested.

Incorporating personalized learning in a role-playing game environment via SID model: a pilot study of impact on learning performance and cognitive load

In this next study, researchers aimed to incorporate personalized learning into role-playing games by including affective and cognitive variables, guided by the situational design model. They conducted a pilot study to assess the effectiveness of this personalized role-playing game on students’ learning performance and cognitive load. The results showed that the personalized role-playing game environment improved students’ performance, reduced extraneous load, and promoted germane load (also known as cognitive effort). 

However, it was found that simply reducing extraneous load did not necessarily lead to improved performance. Students also needed to be motivated to invest sufficient cognitive effort in actively processing the learning materials to enhance their performance. The findings of this particular article highlight the significance of motivation in facilitating efficient learning within gaming environments. 

Incorporating customization and personalization into game-based learning: A cognitive style perspective

Through specifically considering the cognitive styles of participants, researchers conducted this study to compare the effects of customization and personalization in game-based learning on learners’ reactions. Two empirical studies were conducted to examine how cognitive styles influenced learners’ responses to these systems.

In Study 1, results showed that Holists (individuals who focus on the big picture) did not consistently prefer listening to music while gaming as they frequently switched it on/off, while Serialists (individuals who focus on details and step-by-step processes) did not prefer using hints in the game. Despite these differences, game-based learning was found to be useful in enhancing learners’ learning performance, regardless of their cognitive styles. Then, based on the findings from Study 1, Study 2 introduced the Personalized Game-Based Learning System (PGLS), which automatically provided game settings tailored to each learner’s cognitive style.

Overall, the research aimed to investigate how learners’ cognitive styles influenced their reactions to customization and personalization in the context of game-based learning. The results indicated that both approaches were effective in improving learning performance, but learners had different preferences and perceptions based on their cognitive styles.

Educationally Game-based Personalized Learning Improves Learners’ Literacy Across Disciplines

This article compiles many different research findings related to game-based personalized learning, covering aspects such as its definition, theorists, value, benefits, learning strategies, simulations, application, literacy improvement, engagement, motivation, impact, and scholarly significance. This collection of studies reinforces the idea that facilitators of instructional delivery should seek ways to address learners’ needs and preferences. By using game-related activities, educators can add value to their teaching, promoting engagement and confidence in various subjects across the curriculum. 

Reinforcing The Personalized Learning Experiences By The Use Of Game-Based Learning

In this study, researchers explore how teachers can rethink their educational practices by incorporating digital-based learning activities into the curriculum design. The research in this article highlights the advantages of gamifying the school curriculum, using game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, competition, storytelling, and achievements in a non-game setting. 

Moreover, game-based learning creates a risk-free environment for students to make mistakes, work towards goals, and experiment in an engaging and cooperative manner. It leverages multi-sensory approaches, incorporating visuals, soundtracks, and storylines to facilitate personalized learning experiences. Core elements of game-based learning, such as competition, engagement, immediate rewards, reinforcements, and feedback, contribute to real-life linked learning experiences and benefits. This study identifies essential learning principles that game-based learning addresses and how it reinforces the development of students’ key competencies targeted by educational systems.

As you can tell, game-based learning can enhance personalized learning experiences that engage and motivate students, all while fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. By leveraging game-based approaches, we can create dynamic and inclusive learning environments that empower students to thrive in the 21st century and beyond!

Need a custom educational game to bolster personalized learning in your classroom, workplace, or institution? Look no further! We’re educational game developers and we want to hear from you. Let’s explore how we can collaborate to make learning fun and effective!

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