By Wolmet Barendregt (University of Gothenburg)

iRead team members from the University of Gothenburg recently took part in the International Science Festival Gothenburg. The festival is one of Europe’s leading popular science events. With hundreds of activities and about 70,000 it is the only one of its kind in Sweden (for more information about the festival see: http://vetenskapsfestivalen.se/in-english/).

The University of Gothenburg team (Ylva Hård af Segerstad, Leona Bunting and Wolmet Barendregt) jointly organised workshops during the festival on 18th and 27th April 2018 at the university. The workshops were for three school classes from grade 4 to grade 6 where the children were allowed to play and evaluate three early versions of the game activities created by iRead. Thereafter, the children could design their own minigames for learning English.

Based on the children’s evaluations of the minigames we have written an evaluation report to be used by the iRead project to improve our games. Some of our findings included:

  • Generally the children enjoyed the character creation tool.
  • Some of the game activities were easier to understand than others, the children were less likely to read and/or understand the instructions in the faster-paced games.
  • Some of the game activities were much more fun that others, which suggests that certain game activities needed additional ‘fun’ elements to be added to be make them more engaging for the children.
  • Overall the younger children (aged 10) enjoyed playing the game more than the older children (aged 12), surprisingly the younger children also found the game activities easier to understand perhaps because they were more engaged they put more effort into finding out how to play highlighting the importance of ensuring the game is ‘fun’ to play.

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