Serious Games as a professional development tool for middle school Math teachers
PlatinuMath by Triad Interactive Media, Inc. Solution, is as a professional development tool for middle school Math teachers and a supplemental classroom activity for middle school Math students.
Designed to improve mathematical understanding among preservice and inservice teachers, the PlatinuMath suite is packaged in the form of a narrative action-adventure Serious Game consisting of 20 mini-games.
The games cover 24 standards-relevant topics and will supplement any preservice or inservice curriculum or training course. Additional components of the games include content that adjusts to the level of a user, an administrative dashboard and reporting feature that presents results to users and their instructors or facilitators, and a backend database to store all records.
Case for Action
Source: White Paper PDF
Assessment of Preservice Teachers Needed
According to the developers, national organizations and centers including the U.S. National Committee on Mathematics Instruction, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the U.S. Department of Education, and prominent researchers in the area of education reform are calling for scalable and effective assessment of preservice teacher competencies.
Currently the only large-scale assessment for prospective elementary teachers in most states is the Praxis II, but the results are not public.
The NCQT specifically noted that the Praxis test, the most widely required exit/licensure test failed to measure the proficiencies required for good teaching of math in the classroom. The council developed a sample test as a starting point for a new generation of tests to measure the preparation of teachers entering the classroom (NCTQ, 2008).
Triad Interactive Media, Inc. Solution
PlatinuMath, the formative assessment tool in the form of an online Serious Game, measures the preservice teacher’s mathematical understanding for teaching, provides learning while playing, is conducive to repeated practice over time, can differentiate instruction to accommodate different levels of understanding, and therefore can improve the competency of prospective teachers. As preservice teachers become more competent with the mathematical knowledge for teaching their attitudes and beliefs about teaching math will also improve. As a result of improved content competence and changed attitudes, teachers will do a better job with instruction, students will learn more, and student performance on standardized assessments will improve.
PlatinuMath is extremely innovative in utilizing across 20 mini-games topics that work as immediate pathways into algebraic reasoning and other more advanced math in a highly engaging and fun context. The game is most successful in seamlessly incorporating the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge components into a unified experience of assessment and skill building.
Among its amazing game elements and mechanics is the intrinsic capability of accommodating different levels of understanding while addressing procedural and conceptual content knowledge, and simulated student logic.
PlatinuMath was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Serious Game Showcase and Challenge in the Business Category, one of the seven award categories of the SGS&C, at the 2013 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) held in Orlando, FL, December 2013.