Mathstronaut - App-titude Learning

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Mobile Awards - Finalist

Project Commissioner

App-titude Learning
Wil Monte

Project Creator

Cecilie Murray
Delphian eLearning and Millipede

Project Team

Based in Melbourne, Australia, the project team is a partnership of eLearning specialists and professional game developers. Delphian eLearning specialises in learning innovation, emerging technology research, digital content and educational gaming apps. Delphian eLearning draws on mobile learning experience, broad education and pedagogical knowledge to develop and script learning design that engages students and promotes and consolidates their learning. With unique creative flair, Millipede Creative Development specialises in eLearning, game development and high level interactive design. The online gaming app is designed and developed by this innovative media studio, renowned for Flash and interactive development. Delphian eLearning provides the educational concepts, learning design and in-school testing, while production partner, Millipede Creative Development create the interactive online games.

Project Overview

Mathstronaut is a fast paced maths game for primary and middle school students. Puzzles and questions play out in a variety of crazy, colourful and funny animations as players blast their way into space. The game features addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. based on the Australian school curriculum. Mathstronaut boasts four levels of difficulty that automatically adapt to match each child's progress. Data is sent automatically to the App-titude Online Assessment System, where teachers and parents can view up-to-the-minute student progress and participation.

Project Brief

Play the game in two modes! In Blast Off, players answer questions correctly to power their spaceship towards a distant alien planet, pushing past their best scores to get deeper into space. In Countdown, players have a set time limit to answer questions at the selected difficulty level. Ideal for standardised test practice or for teachers to run an exciting live leaderboard using the App-titude online system.
Based on constructivist learning principles that promote deep thinking and engagement,Mathstronaut has been evaluated by middle school students in Years 5 & 6 who found it provides fun challenges for younger learners, as well as consolidation of skills for older students. Kids are drawn in by friendly, fun graphics, playful audio and lots of humorous animations.

Students are able to develop and strengthen their mathematical skills as they complete voyages of increasing complexity, ranging from simple single digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to problems involving multiple operations with two digit numbers.

Project Innovation / Need

Highlighted in the App Store as the best educational app in K-12 for 2010, Mathstronaut responds to today's learners by stimulating their interest with fast-paced, higher-order thinking and requires mental agility, and it's been developed to suit the Austraalian Curriculum, due for implementation in 2012.

What differentiates Mathstronaut is that it automatically sends data to a web-based Online Assessment System that enables teachers to monitor student progress and to gather assessment data. Teachers can view their class as a list with sortable columns, a customisable graph view, or a realtime leaderboard. Each student's participation and progress is clearly displayed. Assessment points and achievements have tooltips and links to Teacher Notes to help engage students, explore new concepts and evaluate their learning.

The beauty of the App-titude Online Assessment System is that it may be scaled up for large implementations, and rendered or re-skinned to suit various learning or training applications, for educational, corporate or business training.

User Experience

The user engagement methodology utilised in App-titude apps is based on 5 principles of contemporary learning theory, delivering a participative approach to learning.
We integrated:
• the profile of intended learners, their needs and learning environment
• student centred inquiry and active, immersive learning
• alignment with Australian Curriculum
• accurate content domain conceptualisation
• relevant legislative and policy requirements.

Students testing Mathstronaut became engrossed in the gaming challenges and competitive levels of practice, where they could test themselves to do better, or compete against their friends. Students commented on the addictive and challenging nature of the tasks, saying that they loved the quirky illustrations and the humorous images as they burst through levels to get into space.

The standard utilised in the content development process is based on the nationally agreed K-12 Educational Value Standard for content development that takes into account the integrity of content, learner focus, curriculum relevance and useability, along with a high degree of innovation.

To guide implementation and ensure project outcomes were achieved the following questions were used to assess learning and design concepts:
• Do the apps provide students with a real world context for learning?
• Do the apps develop mental agility skills around seeking information and solving problems?
• Do the apps encourage students to collaborate as a result of engaging with the games?

Project Marketing

A range of interconnected marketing strategies have been implemented including:
• Online marketing in the K-12 sector across gaming and educational blogs, wikis and online lists
• Twitter
• Brochures sent to schools
• K-12 ICT conference booths
• Professional learning conference sessions
• Pilot school offers.
Mathstronaut has been featured regularly in the App Store store as New and Noteworthy and What’s Hot, and at the end of 2010, was featured in the Best of 2010 K-12 apps.