Ours indeed is the age of technology. It has perpetrated in all sectors one associates with including the manner in which one understands, behaves and learns. Deloitte – an audit and consultancy firm has identified gaming as one of the top trending technologies of 2012.
Online gaming is a rather lucrative market to be present in currently. Digital games are believed to have generated revenue of $25 billion in 2010 globally. Since its launch, Class Topper a UK based software firm saw 10,000 users signing in within a month.
The concept of learning while having fun is what makes gaming technology distinct in its own right. Dismissed as a mere trend by some, neuro scientists on the other hand have a different point of view as they discover more ways in which interactive design influences human reactions. The elements used in this type of design trigger the feel good factor within those interacting with the medium and also increase one’s reaction speed.
Ashish Rangnekar and Ujjwal Gupta who are IIT-Mumbai alumni recently co- founded BenchPrep and launched the first game based app for GRE test prep called GRE Score Quest. The app has the facility to compare student scores with those of their friends and others around the world. This helps a student determine the position in which they stand. They use content from publishers such as McGraw Hill within the app.
ETS – Educational Testing Service, an organization that conducts GRE tests globally introduced a new format in Aug 2011 whereby the levels in a candidates test are determined on the basis of their performance in a given level. Before this happened complex algorithms like those used in gaming technology were used for skill assessment.
As of now, algorithms are designed with the aim of being used anywhere. According to Jatin Patel who is the CEO of classtopper.com, game based software is designed keeping users and their distinct nature in mind. The software designed by class topper has 35 analytical skills and has 3 different ways in which it asks questions. Progress within levels depends upon accurate performance.
8 year old Ashish Gupta learnt his fractions through interactive games designed by classtopper.com. Much like Farmville and Angry Birds, he saw his score on the right side of his screen when he submitted his answers. Initially confusion lead him to give the wrong answer but after spending some more time with the software and understanding the concepts explained he started doing great and scored 88%.
Class topper plans on entering the Indian market space and is in conversation with Google Ventures for private equity funding. Even students from municipal schools are being initiated into fun learning methods.
Another player in the field is Khan Academy. Their software has been tested in schools such as - City of Los Angeles School in Mahim and is about to conduct its next pilot study in Geeta Vikas School. In Play Pattern unlike Class Topper, the software adjusts itself to increase complexity in levels through progress in each.
The videos created by Khan Academy have been tested in a pilot study conducted in City of Angels School. Students were shown videos of regular lessons they learn and later presented with game based questions to asses what they learnt from the video. In Geeta Vikas School students were given links to the videos which they were to view at home and follow it up with a classroom discussion on the next day.