The design and development teams at Zorbit's Math Adventure abide by a few key design principles. These guidelines ensure that everything that goes into the platform benefits you and your students. Here is a look at some of these principles and why Zorbit's Math Adventure is quickly becoming the digital math resource of choice for teachers across North America.
No Chocolate-Covered Broccoli
Many digital math resources claim to integrate game-based learning but when you start to play, it quickly becomes clear that the game mechanics and the math concepts are completely separate. In some cases, the math actually serves as a barrier to the fun parts of the game which can leave a negative impression of math with students.
For example, there exists a game in which students shoot basketball free-throws by using timed inputs to aim the ball which is great fun! When the student runs out of balls, they need to answer addition questions to earn more shots. This positions the math as an obstacle that must be overcome in order to continue playing the game. Students become frustrated and disdainful with the math in the game because they want to play more basketball.
Similar math concepts are covered on Medivia, a medievally themed planet in the Gammarama System (Grade Two), where students must balance addition equations to release Sir Robbie, the bungling protagonist of Sherbershire, from dragon-traps that he himself has set. Here, the gameplay and math practice are one in the same and math is positioned as an asset for playing the game.
The feedback that students receive within Zorbit’s Math Adventure always constructively encourages students to be persistent and try different strategies. Sure, you may see a red X and a soft buzzer when mistakes are made, but that’s about as negative as it gets.
Serena, Zorbit’s robot friend, will chime in with indications on why the student’s answer was incorrect and how they can adjust their thinking to move in the right direction.
Creative Problem Solving
True learning happens when students are able to make their own sense out of the information presented to them. The idea of ‘scaffolding’ suggests that students only truly learn something new when it fits into their existing knowledge framework. Sometimes this framework needs adjusting in light of new information, but until the two are in sync, new skills remain foreign.
The activities in Zorbit’s Math Adventure encourage students to understand new concepts in a way that works for them. For example, the number 18 can be made by adding 8 to 10, by counting 2 back from 20, or by collecting 3 groups of 6. In either case, the game is smart enough to accept multiple answers and strategies.