The use of games in education is something that I’ve discussed on this blog a bit in recent years, so it was pleasing to see that an educational game shared the winning prize at the recent Reimagine Education Conference.
The event, which billed itself as the Oscars for education, was setup by higher education careers organization QS Quacquarelli Symonds in partnership with Wharton Business School.
Overall, 21 projects were celebrated after some 427 entries were whittled down. With some 43 countries represented it was a truly international entry list.
Sharing the top prize of $50,000 was the team behind PaGamO, a social gaming platform designed to help children learn more effectively.
“I believe that gaming for education will not just be something nice to have. It will be a must-have,” Benson Yeh, creator of PaGamO, said upon receiving the award.
The game was created alongside the MOOC Professor Yeh created on the Coursera platform on probability. In addition to breaking new ground with the use of PaGamO, it was also the first course on the platform taught in Chinese.
The game is designed to hopefully engage students in the completion of their homework. The game proved enormously popular during the run of the course on Coursera, with most students dipping their toes into it.
Indeed, after the course had been live for a week, some students were already complaining of a lack of problems to solve via the game!
The game works by giving players a map of territories, which they can occupy by solving problems related to their homework. The best performers are displayed on the games leaderboard.
“The fun comes from the competition among peers,” Benson says. “Showing students rankings on the site gives them strong motivation to engage.”
The hope is that the platform can eventually be used by other teachers within their own courses. Benson believes that the platform is suitable for any subject that requires closed answer questions.
You can check out more about PaGamO via the video below.