LAB University of Applied Sciences is a partner in an Erasmus+ funded project E-learning Revision Activity and Collaborative Knowledge Teaching (e-REACKT) (LAB 2021). One of the aims of the project is to develop a game application, Academ’Quiz (AQ) that could be implemented into educational processes to support learning in several subject fields.
The starting point that gamification increases students’ involvement in study processes is realized in the application that offers study material along with the multiple-choice questions, gives students a possibility to contribute to content production and enables both personal and team challenges. The development of the application reached the point of the first usability tests at the end of February. Tests were held in Finland, Spain, and France. Nineteen LAB University students participated in the testing.
What is Academ’Quiz?
The logic of the Academ’Quiz application is fairly simple: a player is presented with a question from a chosen subject field, for example English, business mathematics, accounting, or cross-cultural communication. Each question comes with four different answers and the player is to choose the correct one. Each question is supported with pedagogical notes written by teachers and thus, the player gets explanations on the topic. Points, ranks, and duels with chosen and random opponents are added as gamification elements.
What was tested?
The testing fulfilled in February was aimed to check workability of the application and gain users’ experiences. To attract the testers, the subject fields chosen for the testing were related to the English language. Thus, whilst playing and testing the technical functionality of the application, students were able to practice their English language skills. The testing period lasted for two weeks and was constantly monitored by the developers. At the final phase, each student was asked to write a brief feedback report and to reply to a survey.
Feedback and survey findings
Feedback reports from the students were full of comments on usability of the application, readability of instructions, graphical components, and navigation. Interesting ideas on integrating the players’ experiences into the existing social networks to raise the competitive element of the game and engagement were introduced. All these notes are collected and analyzed by the technical specialists of the team.
Most of the testers claimed to have read the pedagogical notes. As 70 per cent of the respondents got necessary explanations from the notes, it is possible to conclude that the notes could be effectively used to support the learning. Furthermore, the majority of the testers shared the opinion that it is easier to learn by playing a game than by merely reading a book.
The fact that 70 per cent of the respondents would mostly or always positively react to the use of the application as a part of their learning process lets us hope that when Academ’Quiz is ready, it will find its users among the higher education institutions.
Mariia Baliasina works as a language teacher at the Language Center of LAB University of Applied Sciences and participates in the e-REACKT and KiVAKO projects.
Sirpa Varajärvi works as a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Hospitality Management of LAB University of Applied Sciences, and as a project manager and expert in the e-REACKT project.
LAB 2021. E-learning Revision Activity and Collaborative Knowledge Teaching (e-REACKT). Project. [Cited on 14th May 2021.] Available: https://lab.fi/en/project/e-learning-revision-activity-and-collaborative-knowledge-teaching-e-reackt