Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Research Corner

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Research Corner

Article excerpt

In the last of our magazine series highlighting education research conducted by teachers, TES Professional finds out how Paul Nolan, an A-level economics teacher at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School in Staffordshire, turned his economics students' grades around using online games

What?

Objective tests, in which students respond to a series of multiple-choice questions, form a third of the AS-level economics exam paper. Yet despite a belief among students that the multiple choice papers would be easy, Paul Nolan, pictured, found that they were often what challenged them most.

Why?

Historical examination data for Nolan's school indicated that his students did not perform as well in this element of the examination compared with national data and that of similar schools, and the objective test was fast becoming a barrier. He decided to study the impact of online gameplay in raising attainment; making it not only an appraisal objective but also the subject of his MA dissertation at Staffordshire University.

How?

Nolan chose Zondle, a game-based learning platform, to conduct his research. After completing an objective test which served as a benchmark, the students were split into a control group and a Zondle group. This latter group enjoyed unlimited access to objective-style questions within a gaming format on the Zondle website, which the control group was denied. The aim was to see if the gameplay element motivated students to repeat questions, developing familiarity with the style and embedding knowledge and understanding of the topics. …

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