Wittario is funding a research project executed by Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Our aim is to observe the combination of physical movement and game mechanics in student learning activities and see if they experience that this increases their learning outcome.
Associate professor Hege Merete Somby at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences heads the project.
There is a significant amount of research on the topic physical activity and learning outcome. Physical movement stimulate our brains and levels of brain activity. Similarly, there is much scientific evidence that a high degree of involvement in the themes and subjects, increases learning. Discussing a subject requires students to reflect and apply critical thinking. Expressing thoughts as words, also increase learning outcome.
So, what is new? Game mechanics! We want to see if game mechanics, and its inherent motivational factors, can increase students experience of learning when combined with physical activity.
A team of researchers and master students from Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences are researching this topic. The hypothesis is formed, and testing took place in November and December 2020.
Brevik Skole in Son, Presterud Skole in Hamar, Krapfoss Skole in Moss and Hamar Naturskole, all in Norway, will participate in the project.
The design of the study is exploratory, and the research project aims to compare different learning situations, with and without the use of game mechanics . Students in the 5th and 6th grade will be divided into 3 groups – one will learn math in a very traditional classroom fashion. The second group will be using the Wittario platform for outdoors game-based learning. This group will still be exposed to a traditional curriculum and methodology. The third group will, as the second group, make use of the Wittario platform. However, the group will be exposed to much more problem-solving tasks. These tasks will require the students to work in groups and challenge their creative thinking when solving and illustrating their answers.
The research will then enter a more analytical phase with qualitative interviews of the participants. Covid-19 is somewhat of a challenge, yet we will overcome this.
A research paper is planned published in 2021.
Both students and teachers say that physical and mental health has improved, according to research project.