Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Challenge based skills drill

I have been playing some "Tux of math command" for amusement. The obvious application of this kind of game model is any small atomic knowledge elements that can be simply tested

Basic math operations, times tables etc have been covered well by 'Tux of Math Command". TuxTyping applies the same idea to typing games. I'm not as happy with it because it has a linear increase in speed.

Spelling, missing letter, missing word, extra letter, rotate the letters, etc.

Geometry, shapes etc get a little too close to tetris.

Anyway, the point is that this model could be applied to anything that needs drilling.  It could be applied to facts that a student wants to study.

The format modification I would add is to keep track of the RT's for the various stimuli in the game and repeat the elements with the highest RT's more often. The point being that the items that are harder get more repetition.

This is a simple feedback system that would need upper and lower thresholds for sanity checking.

The other response properties that could be tracked are accuracy, errors of commission, errors of ommision etc.  This kind of thing could then be used to inform the choice of the speed, duration and amount of pressure generated by the number of stimuli elements on screen at the same time.

The other addition would be setting some kind of threshold of achievement. This could be used to add an additional reinforcement.

So the reinforcement happens by repetition and success, which gets you to a degree of mastery, which you can then use to manipulate the elements in some way that forms a meta game.  Then by improving the mastery, the side effect is that the skill being drilled is no longer the focus but the mechanism underpinning the mastery and the higher level manipulation.


Simple spelling/typing task.  Type the word displayed on screen. The basic skill is to type the word correctly. The mastery comes from typing it more and more quickly under pressure ( in TuxTyping) while this is a fairly simple mechanism, it has little complexity to push the mastery beyond any particular level.  Instead think of a ladder. As the word moves down screen, it moves down the ladder and by typing and completing the word at the right time, the word is scored at the value for the particular ladder section that its over.  The values move in a predictable pattern on the ladder which allows more complexity in the mastery. 

By focusing on degrees of mastery rather than degrees of the basic function of the skill, the basic skill gets re-inforced in a different way. The question is how effective this is.

So start with a basic skill and add some executive function on top of the basic skill.

No comments:

Post a Comment