Sick of games that only use pop-up multiple choice questions to engage students? We've been designed using research-based best practices for science, ensuring powerful learning.
Gameplay itself should involve the learning objectives in order to beat the game, rather than using unrelated gameplay with pop-up multiple choice questions. Research shows this has better outcomes, and students chose to play 7x longer with embedded learning - it's more fun! (1)
Studies also show that playing multiple game sessions results in better learning outcomes than not playing, or only playing once. (3)
Immersive and role-playing games show increased academic performance, and better transfer of skills than other types of games. (4)
Science curriculum that gives students opportunities to engage in practices improved achievement on next generation science assessments. (5)
Powerful learning games often involve simulations, as this aligns with the Next Generation Science Standard vision of exploring concepts with science practices in order to learn. One study also showed students' academic achievement improved 23% when using simulations! (2)
Students must have direct experience with the phenomena they are learning about, including raising questions and drawing new conclusions through experiences. (6)
Utilizing a problem-based learning approach is shown to encourage accessing of prior knowledge and high-road transfer, improving metacognitive awareness and long-term retention. (7)
Cooperative learning has a broad set of diverse, positive outcomes for students, including better communication, improved motivation, and even feelings of acceptance and inclusion among group members. (6)
We regularly receive grants from organizations like the NSF to make new product features and conduct pilots to study the impact of Tyto Online. This information is used to show its impact, but the learning also drives iterative improvements to the product to constantly improve our impact! 🤩
The NSF is funding the new/upcoming Expeditions feature. In Expeditions, students work together collaboratively in groups to solve problems: first collecting data to come to a consensus about what the problem is, and then testing engineering solutions to create a recommendation.
Our initial pilot had promising results, such as:
We did a free-response assessment pre/post that used Science and Engineering Practices. After one day of experience with us, students improved a statistically significant 12%. The areas of highest improvement included analyzing & interpreting data, defining problems for engineering, and planning & carrying out investigations.
Since students worked in groups, we analyzed discussion and saw that only 3% of student time was off-task. They spent time on coordination, science talk, process, instruction, etc. (see graphic on left)
The Institute of Education Sciences at the Dept. of Education funded work to move Tyto Online into Earth & Space Science with our Weather & Climate Module. After initial development, we ran a pilot at a public urban middle school in Florida.
We asked students if they'd want to use the game to learn more, and 96% were in! Some quotes included:
🎮 "It puts a spin on regular learning and I've never seen anything like it."
💭 "There is all different things that I never thought about before."
Students demonstrated a 7% growth in content knowledge from the pre/post test. However, the experience was highly interrupted in the week before winter break, so when we compared the learning growth (improvement in score) to how much of the assigned game content they completed, it was a nearly perfect 0.95 correlation: the game had really helped students learn!
Overdeck provided a grant to use in exploring in-school and out-of-school applications of Tyto Online, including sponsoring the product for many sites.
🔭 50% increase in STEM engagement
🔬 35% increase in STEM career interest
🧬 27% increase in STEM career knowledge
🥼 22% increase in STEM identity
We found that there was no difference in the overall level of engagement (gameplay) between boys/girls or BIPOC/white students, indicating equal engagement for marginalized students.