#nubelymath project: Can we help children master maths concepts 2 years ahead of expectation with a game-based learning approach?

Game-based learning + Self-directed learning + Swedish assessment model = impactful progress.

@NubelyEducation professes that EdTech, when effectively planned for an implemented, greatly impacts learning.

Through our #nubelymath project we want to prove something further. We want to prove that the regular use of EdTech in the form of game-based learning, combined with the child being given the initiative to lead their own learning will have profound results! A statement often made, but not often proven.

The #nubelymath project aims to show that EdTech can help accelerate embedded learning. It aims to prove that with careful planning of the use of EdTech by the teacher, children can master concepts that would normally be introduced to them two years further down their educational journey.

What is game-based learning?

Game-based learning is the merge of Learning and Computer Games. Education Scotland outlines why it exists below.

Research is beginning to suggest that computer games can help to stimulate a successful learning environment and provide motivational learning contexts that suit many learners. They also provide an opportunity to develop communities in which learners have a sense of ownership over what they do.
Computer games encourage self-reliance and self-determination in terms of a learner’s ability to make progress within a demanding but incrementally staged environment. They also help them to appreciate that the skills necessary for success in games, such as problem solving and critical thinking, can have relevance in other curricular areas and other social contexts such as study or work. They also create an implicit and explicit understanding that as a learner on our own we can be good but as a learner in a connected team we can be much better.

The quotation below, from serc.carleton.edu shows the benefit and links game-based learning with high quality learning.

There are several elements that define an activity as a game (GBL):
  • Competition: the score-keeping element and/or winning conditions which motivate the players and provide an assessment of their performance. Note that players are not necessarily competing against each other. In fact, a lot of games have players working as a team to overcome some obstacle or opponent which is built into the game.
  • Engagement: Once the learner starts, he or she does not want to stop before the game is over. Lepper and Cordova (1992) refer to this phenomenon as “intrinsic motivation” and ascribe it to four sources: challenge, curiosity, control, and fantasy.
  • Immediate Rewards: Players receive victory or points, sometimes even descriptive feedback, as soon as goals are accomplished.

The link below demonstrates why game-based learning works.


What is Self-Directed Learning?

Self-Directed Learning has been written about for decades. Malcolm Knowles described self-directed learning in 1975.

“In its broadest meaning, ’self-directed learning’ describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with our without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identify human and material resources for learning, choosing and implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.” (Knowles, 1975, p. 18)

What is the Swedish model of assessing children’s learning?

The Swedish model of assessment is centred around their child, where they are given the initiative to analyse their own learning and come up with their own next steps accordingly with the support of their teacher and parents. The European Agency describe the essence of the model below.

The most common tools and methods of innovative assessment in Sweden are:
  • Individual development programme-IEP
  • The pupil’s portfolio
  • Log-books, reflection-books
  • Dialogue with the teachers
  • Self-assessment, peer-assessment
Many schools use the portfolio. In the portfolio there are all kind of documents concerning the pupil, examples of writing, pictures, video film from different situations in the school, photos etc. The aim of this method is to show and assess the pupil’s development and to make it possible for the pupils to reflect upon the learning process. Pupils learn in varying ways and the aim for reflection is to develop good strategies for learning.
One school describes their work with the portfolio model in pre-school, school and leisure-time centres from the pupils, teachers and the parent’s perspective .
The aim for the children and pupils are to:
  • take responsibility and to have influence in their own learning,
  • see their own possibilities,
  • set up targets,
  • plan the daily work,
  • use the portfolio in communication with parents, and teachers, and when moving school.
The aim for teachers is to:
  • set up targets for teaching so that every pupil will learn
  • assess each pupils’ individual learning process,
  • use the portfolio in communication with parents.
The aim for parents is to:
  • clarify their child’s cognitive and social development,
  • support the parents participation in school,
  • “support the parents to support their child”.

Why is #nubelymath happening?

@NubelyEducation feels that there should be more prominence of game-based and self-directed learning in our classrooms. Learning is a life-long pursuit and one that more and more pupils in the U.K. in particular, are becoming delusioned with. Students need to feel that their learning is relevant and of use to them in the future. For this to happen, teachers need to evolve constantly. Game-based teaching is flexible, allowing this evolution, but is engaging and helps the learner take charge of their own learning. This automatically lets the learner tailor their own learning. If they feel in charge of it, the pupil feels an integral part of the process, take pride in their learning and cherish it. The child-centred portfolio provides the guidance and frees the teacher up to support the learner completing their own portfolio on their own self-defined learning journey.

The #nubelymath project, in proving #GBL’s & #SDLearning’s with the swedish assessment model’s effectiveness, aims to make more aware; supporting and encouraging more to integrate them into their daily teaching practise.

To follow the journey of the #nubelymath project, visit nubelyarticles.wordpress.com, NubelyEducation via Twitter, Facebook or via our site www.nubelyeducation.com for regular updates every Thursday 5am GMT.