Since I’ve finished my yearly math curriculum with two weeks to spare I’ve decided to enter my students in a gamed based video game mystery called “The Lure of the Labrynth”. It was developed by some researchers at MIT who wanted to see if video gamed based learning infused with mathematics would improve students math skills. I learned about it through my math learning community through “Edumodo”. Check out “Lure of the Labrynth” here.
A teacher registers their class and puts them into groups of 4-6 students and then each student builds an avatar in an underground virtual world and sets out to save “pets” through a number of math challenges. The more rooms one unlocks and more pets one saves, the higher score a student gets. There is a story line much in the medium of a comic book where the reader receives clues surrounding the larger mystery.
While students play the game, data is collected an analyzed by researchers at MIT to determine the effectiveness of this means of teaching math. Many of the math applications are subtle and require critical thinking and multiple problem solving strategies such as trial and error, reflecting on similar problems an so on.
I’m curious to what the data will support. My students love video games and comic books too, so hopefully they’ll respond favorably to the challenge. I’m sure the working hypothesis is whether bringing math to settings students enjoy will bring a heightened sense of understanding as students will see the immediate application and “reward” afterwards. I’ll comment later when our class is finished!