#content #methodology #script #plot #illustrations
Transform the school math program into an interactive online course with gaming assignments, and publish the first lessons two months after the start of work.
- Users are elementary school students, grades 1-4.
- All lessons and teaching plans should correspond to the official governmental study program.
- Learning should be based on new, not traditional didactics (gaming approach, online format, and adaptation for students).
We have developed ready-made lessons in which each topic of the school curriculum is "packed" into an adventure plot. For example, a student needs to help characters prepare costumes for a carnival or go on a trip to the Van Gogh exhibition. In the end, the entire course turns into an interactive series lasting the school year, with a new episode and interactive assignment released every week.
How we managed to explain mathematics using game tasks
Principle 1: Smooth complication
We don't start with theory, we offer the child a task right away. At the same time, it must be so simple that the child will definitely cope with it. As a result, he gets the first inspiring experience and enthusiastically takes on the next ones. Each new task is slightly more difficult than the previous one: the child himself does not notice how he begins to easily cope with tasks that previously seemed impossible.
For example, in the lesson on multiplication, we first offer the child to literally count the result of multiplying objects on his fingers (at this stage, we don't even call it multiplication!) This allows us to smoothly transition to calculations through serial addition, then to multiplication in the traditional form: at this stage, we already show the method of recording, and then the child himself composes an expression for the problem.
As a result, the child quickly and comfortably goes from a state of "I know nothing about multiplication" to the ability to solve examples.
Principle 2: Tasks with a Story
Instead of abstract examples, we immerse the student in a world of interesting characters and plots. It is very important that this world consists of familiar objects and stories for the child: no "breadwinners collecting rye in sheaves" from textbooks familiar to us. And it's not that something is wrong with breadwinners: it's just that there are objects and phenomena around the child that he is already familiar with better :)
It is important that all tasks have a practical meaning, a goal that is understandable to the child. Bright illustrations and characters are not just "decorating" a column with examples, but are part of the plot.
For example, we turned a lesson about the types of angles into a story about setting up a robot vacuum cleaner.
Principle 3: Adapt to each student
The script for each lesson is non-linear. If a student makes a mistake in a task, we explain to them what they did wrong and give them a hint. If the student makes a mistake a second time, we give an even more obvious hint. By the way, the principle of "Smooth Complexity" is very helpful here, because the task differs from the previous one only by one insignificant "extension", and if the child made a mistake, we need to explain only this moment, and not go through all possible causes.
Principle 4: Avoid creating unnecessary technical complexities
At the start of the project, the online school, where more than 4 mln of children have studied by now, had already developed several ready-made game mechanics: choosing the correct answer from a list, connecting objects, dragging and dropping, coloring, selecting an area on the screen, and others. We decided not to create new mechanics in order to not take up a lot of time from the programmers, but to adapt to the ones that already existed. This approach saved the client a lot of resources and time.
For example, both of these tasks are made on the same mechanic, although they are very different from each other for the user. Students get colorful and unusual tasks, while "under the hood" they are elegantly implemented on the basis of the same principles without unnecessary technical complexities.