As GCSE season approaches, many parents are hoping that their children will stop playing computer games and pick up their textbooks to revise. But one education expert recommends taking the opposite approach.
Based on his years of experience tutoring children of all ages, Murray Morrison has developed Tassomai, a game based on answering a series of multiple-choice questions. Only by answering the questions correctly can players progress through the game.
As students use the software, the system learns to identify each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and tailors the questions specifically for each student.
As more students use the system, the algorithms that power it improve meaning that the software learns at the same time as the pupils using it.
Morrison said: “It’s easy to dismiss computer games and tell students to pick up their text books when preparing for their exams, but by using a gaming mechanic, the system taps into the brain’s reward system.
“Players become hooked on progressing through the various levels of the game, and a sense of friendly competition develops among pupils that further incentivizes use of the system.”
The system is currently used by nearly 10,000 students in over 70 schools across the UK, while many parents are also signing up their children to use the software at home to improve their grades.
As the exam season approaches, over a million questions are being answered each week on the program.
While many parents despair at their children’s computer game addiction, others have been keen to encourage the habit when it comes to using the educational system.
One parent described Tassomai as an “RPGCSE” game, and said: “I’m dangling the carrot of a copy of Professional Farmer 2017 if my son gets an A”.
Tassomai aims to make revision and learning as effective and as straightforward as possible. Users can see the revision topics that they need to work through, they can see how they are getting on so far, and they can see what they should do next.
Tassomai prioritises each topic and subject based on progress so far and time remaining before the date of exams.
A user simply needs to log in regularly and complete the revision assignments at the top of their list. Their mission is simple: keep the pace of progress up to the speed prescribed – a task that requires a few minutes attention each day.