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Checkpoint and SEGA Team Up To Create Innovative Educational Games

Checkpoint and SEGA Team Up To Create Innovative Educational Games

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2023Tagged: Gaming, Industry

Checkpoint (@CheckpointMZine) and SEGA (@SEGA) have joined forces to create innovative educational games that aim to enhance the learning experience for teachers and students. The games are designed to make subjects more engaging and enjoyable, as well as more effective and memorable. According to a survey, more than 90% of students who participated in lessons that used video games as a key component, reported that the games helped them to have more fun and learn better.

Checkpoint and SEGA Team Up To Create Innovative Educational Games

The principles behind these teaching methods have arrived in classrooms courtesy of Checkpoint, a video-game inspired education platform that, according to this new study, is responsible for genuine and marked improvements. Both in the way pupils are engaging with the teachers — and their implementation of the National Curriculum.

Partnering with SEGA for this study, Checkpoint designs, writes, and curates teaching materials that tap into gaming culture. From Sonic the Hedgehog to Planet Zoo, Checkpoint is helping teachers educate their students through the lens of gaming. These learning materials were welcomed by any school that used them.

“We wanted to see whether our approach actually had the benefits we intended,” said Checkpoint’s founder and editor-in-chief Tamer Asfahani. “So we approached the educational experts at Brunel University London to design an independent study to evaluate the extent to which key stage 2 children engaged with our learning materials.”

Brunel’s Professor Kate Hoskins led a team of experts from the university’s Department of Education, who worked with five teachers at four London schools to trial learning materials for a science lesson that’s part of the National Curriculum. The aim of the lesson was for the students – aged 7 to 11 – to learn how animals are classified into different species and groups based on various characteristics, and to practice doing this themselves. Instead of categorizing normal animals, the students were tasked with organizing Sonic and his fellow SEGA characters into the correct groups.

Interviews and questionnaires found that the lesson was “overwhelmingly positive”, with teachers praising the engagement of children who they knew struggled in a more traditional learning environment. “The link to children’s game culture enabled participation across otherwise marginalized groups,” said Professor Hoskins. “Including minority ethnic, SEND” — those with special educational needs and disabilities — “and low socioeconomic status children.”

Checkpoint is thrilled with the findings and is continuing to develop its gaming-inspired learning modules, which are completely free of charge, on their website and are looking forward to working with more schools and improving childrens’ education with the vehicle of video games.

For more on Brunel’s research, check out quotes from teachers, Tamer Asfahani, and Professor Hoskin’s, below.

Research Data and Developments in a Modern Classroom

One of the teachers pointed out how when they started talking about the character, the students were immediately engaged. “They loved the fact that it’s something that’s in everyday life. Especially the boys — they realize, okay, yes, that’s different,” the teacher said, adding that the learning materials were something that he and his colleagues can use as a basis, and adapt to the needs of various classrooms. The students were similarly enthusiastic.

And when the researchers analyzed which of the National Curriculum’s key skills were hit by the lesson, all the desired ones were being gained; with listening, creativity and problem-solving scoring particularly well.

“The students’ responses suggest that incorporating gaming culture elements in the classroom can lead to a more enriching learning experience for students across the socioeconomic and cultural spectrum, transforming the way they engage with and understand scientific concepts,” Professor Hoskins said. “Teachers can potentially foster a deeper connection between students and the subject matter when bringing the excitement and challenges of video games into the learning process, ultimately promoting a lasting interest in science education.”

Checkpoint’s Asfahani welcomed the findings. “Thanks to this study, we have data confirming that teachers and researchers should work together to create innovative instructional strategies that harness the power of gaming culture and facilitate deeper learning for students, in key stage 2 science lessons and beyond,” he said.

“This collaborative effort will not only contribute to the ongoing development of effective teaching practices but also inspire a new generation of students to become passionate, lifelong learners in the field of science and other subjects; with the potential to be especially positive for less confident learners.”

The research was made possible by the Brunel Innovation Voucher Scheme, designed to promote collaborative innovation between the university and UK-based small businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

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