Triseum and Game-Based Learning: Should You Care?

It’s all around us: game-based learning is gaining increased attention in the educational world. Given the eye-opening results that come with educational games, it’s easy to see why so many innovators now see game-based learning as a staple in the future of education. It’s a concept and a way of learning that helps students perform at an optimum level without sweating it.

As trends in learning point more and more toward the use of gamification, companies like Triseum are raising the bar with an impressive array of games exclusively designed to improve learning among high school and college-level students. As part of our mission of ensuring that every student in our own state, Texas, and beyond has access to the best educational materials, our mathematics, art history, and financial literacy games are motivating, fun, and guaranteed to drastically improve comprehension and learning.

If you have ever imagined an environment where every student learns beyond expectations from innovative methods they enjoy, that’s the Triseum world. Our vibrant, high-quality learning games are not only sophisticated, but easy to use, and provide excitement and fast-paced interactions that drive students to new levels of concept mastery. Variant: Limits™ enables students to visualize and grasp the abstract concepts underlying calculus in a 3D immersive environment. Instead of having to learn calculus from a textbook, players see the subject come to life as they find themselves on an imaginary planet facing imminent doom – unless they can solve a series of increasingly challenging calculus problems.

In addition to Variant: Limits, we also offer ARTè: Mecenas™, an art history game that puts students into the heart of the Italian Renaissance as a member of the Medici, one of the most influential families of the time. The game teaches the interconnectedness of local and international economies in Renaissance Italy, and how those economies influenced art and art patronage. The game fosters student mastery of banking concepts—and much more.

At Triseum, it is our belief that every student can be successful with innovative learning tools that invoke the joy and excitement of learning. The research and development of new learning games is underway, and we’ll soon be unveiling games for other courses and curricula.

Creating new learning games takes partnerships that allow cutting-edge development and high-quality output. Our goal is to create more games like Variant: Limits and ARTé: Mecenas by partnering with innovative companies dedicated to education. We’re working closely with Forward Thinking EDU to form partnerships which will allow us to deliver more games that inspire today’s learners. We believe that only through partnerships can every student in Texas and beyond have the opportunity to learn using game-based learning tools that help them truly build conceptual understanding.

With banks and other financial institutions mandated by law to fulfill their CRM (Corporate Reinvestment Funds) to their host communities, investing in educational gaming as a way of helping students gain mastery in specific courses can be a smart investment – and one that can illustrate a commitment to education and the workforce of the future. All companies with a commitment to community good can get involved in education by partnering with Triseum.

Ask any young surgeon, computer programmer, engineer, or website designer if they grew up enjoying video games. Chances are the answer will be yes. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to combine learning with the way students like to spend time? Explore a corporate partnership with Triseum and see how your company can influence the academic achievement of students in Texas and beyond. It’s a great way to demonstrate your commitment to education—a cause with implications for students that will resonate for decades. 

I Knew a Video Game Would Help My Students Learn Art History, But I Didn’t Know it Would Also Help Them Learn These Three Important Things

One of the recurring observations I’ve made during my years of classroom teaching is the significance of active learning. Finding creative and engaging ways for students to be hands-on learners can be a challenge. It starts early on in the learning process. Let’s take tying shoes for example. Imagine if a child had to develop this skill and acquire this knowledge by passive observation. It would be nearly impossible. Yet, many traditional forms of instruction rely on this seemingly flat approach.

Looking for more active learning opportunities, I decided to incorporate technology, and specifically game-based learning. Knowing how much my students gravitated towards technology and games in their free time, I figured it could work in the classroom too. Today’s students not only reach for technology spontaneously, but they operate it intuitively. I saw the potential of game-based learning to meet their needs for interaction, involvement, freedom of expression, and entertainment.

I participated in a pilot of Triseum’s art history video game, ARTé: Mecenas, in two of my classes. The pilot project, which was in partnership with European Schoolnet, was designed to test the game’s influence on students, as well as students’ commitment to each lesson and their motivation to learn.

It worked. My students learned art history and they had quite a bit of fun in the process. The game elicited positive emotions. But beyond this, I was amazed to find that my students also learned 1) social skills, 2) decision making skills and, 3) most surprisingly, even English language skills.

Socially, ARTé: Mecenas taught my students the importance of collaboration, a great example of active learning. Students were willingly working in pairs and in groups. They were having a dialog with each other not only about the game’s content, but also its strategy. What’s more, the game fostered decision making skills. Students had to weigh their options, asses the best move, and understand that each move they made had a consequence.

By far the most astonishing feat to come out of this was the fact that my students’ English language skills improved by playing the game. Before entering the pilot project, I was worried my students, whose native language is Polish, wouldn’t get over the language barrier. Yet the game got them even more interested in the English language. In fact, I am convinced that the game was an effective tool in helping them improve their English vocabulary and proficiency.

Going into the pilot, I didn’t fully grasp the magnitude of the game’s impact beyond the subject matter, especially when it came to foreign language competency.  ARTé: Mecenas empowered my students to act on multiple curiosities.

Like learning to tie their shoes through hands-on practice, my students acquired knowledge and developed skills in a very active way. And let’s face it, when students are active and excited learners, they are more productive and fulfilled. In this case, they were more productive and fulfilled than I ever thought possible.

About Anita Streich

Anita teaches Polish language and Ethics Education, as well as serves as the coordinator of International Cooperation at the Technical School of Hotel Management and Catering Industry in Toruń, Poland. She is involved in the acquisition and management of EU projects, primarily the Erasmus + program in the sectors of school education and vocational training. She holds an MA in Polish Philosophy and a BA in Sociology, and also has completed post-graduate studies in Ethics. Additionally, she earned the coveted Award of the President of the City of Toruń for special achievements in teaching, education and care.

Colleges Including Texas A&M Are Using Video Games To Make Lessons Stick

Like books, radio, television and movies, games are an ideal medium to captivate an audience. Yet, unlike these other mediums, games afford full interactivity. That can have big implications for education: Just ask Texas A&M University, which recently wrapped up its first ever game-based course this fall.

The course was so successful that the university has opened registration for two game-based courses this spring: another focused on art history and a new one focused on calculus.

Video games have become mainstream in our culture. Commercial entertainment games deliver graphics and scenarios that are so lifelike they transport players into alternate worlds and empower users to assume imaginative identities. They are immersive and they draw players in to go for the epic win, playing for hours on end. With student digital literacy climbing at impressive rates, isn’t it a natural progression to channel the power of games into a productive academic setting?

Academic video games are meeting an important educational need, boosting engagement and making learning fun. Some research even suggests that video games might make people better learners. Game-based learning products brought in $2.6 billion in worldwide revenue in 2016 and this is projected to surge to $7.3 billion by 2021.

While many different types of games can be used in a college setting, games that are backed by rigorous research, instructional design best practices and stellar graphics can have the biggest impact on the teaching and learning experience. Games that mirror the suspense and sophistication of their entertainment counterparts present curriculum in relatable ways, engage students far more than traditional textbooks, and test learners’ abilities to ensure knowledge mastery…

This post was originally published in the Austin Business Journal. To continue reading the full post, please click here.  

Five Myths Dispelled About Video Games and Game-Based Learning

Many people have a hard time even considering the idea of video games as an effective educational tool. After all, video games are for entertainment; even those of us who enjoy playing don’t often think of them as a learning opportunity.   

There are also a number of myths about the effects of video games that lead many to believe they cannot or should not be used to educate. In the following, we work to dispel those myths.

Educational video games are trying to replace teachers

Hardly. Game-based learning is not aimed at replacing teachers but at providing them a powerful tool to enhance instruction. Games are a powerful media that can help students grasp content by allowing them to interact with complex concepts that would otherwise appear abstract.

Take the classic game The Oregon Trail, by playing the role of a 19th century settler students get the opportunity to experience the historical events confronting those who took on  the challenge of trekking across the United States. The game experience brings to life what they’re learning in a textbook and in class, making them more likely to retain the content.

Video games make students anti-social

Video games have long been caricatured as a pastime for those who lack social skills or don’t feel comfortable interacting with other people. But research suggests video games actually correlate with the opposite personality traits. A study by researchers at Oxford University found children who average an hour a day of video games are more sociable, happier and less likely to be hyperactive than children who don’t play video games.

Not only do video games provide an activity for kids to share with their friends in the neighborhood, but they offer an unprecedented opportunity to interact with players from all over the world. The team-play that is central to many of the most popular games serves as a powerful lesson on cooperation, collaboration and leadership.

Video games harm a child’s attention span

Many teachers and parents assume that video games are to blame for children who can’t concentrate in the classroom. But video games actually demand a very high level of concentration, and research has shown they can enhance a child’s ability to focus and multi-task.

Neuroscientist Daphne Bevelier, who did aTED talk on the subject, described that her research found significant gaming experience leads to more efficient functioning of the three brain networks associated with attention: the parietal cortex, the frontal lobe and the anterior cingulate. As a result, those who play video games tend to have a superior ability to track multiple objects at a time and can more quickly shift attention from one task to another.

Video games only appeal to boys

This is one stereotype that refuses to die, despite strong evidence to the contrary. A 2014 study by the Entertainment Software Association found that females age 10-20 made up nearly as large a share of the gaming market as males in the same age group: 11 percent compared to 12 percent.

While there is hardly gender parity in every segment of the gaming market, the research shows the great majority of boys and girls enjoy playing games on their phones, computers and consoles. A study by Quantic Foundry, which studies gamer motivation, found that while those who play games are overwhelmingly male, women make up the great majority of those playing “Match 3” puzzles or simulation games in which players design homes, farms or families.

It’s impossible to measure the effect of educational video games

It’s actually not that hard to assess the impact an educational game has on a student’s understanding of the subject matter. We can give students a test on the subject matter before they play the game and then give them the same test after they’ve played. If their performance improves, that’s strong evidence the game improved their understanding of the content.

One illustrative example comes from a study conducted to evaluate the impact of ARTé: Mecenas, a game Triseum designed to teach students college-level art history. The experimental group was given pre-tests on the subject matter and then played the game for at least two hours the following week before taking a post-test. In the end, students demonstrated a knowledge gain of 24.7 percent.   

Triseum and NAEA Advance Art Education and Game-Based Learning Programs

College Station, TX and Alexandria, VA – April 10, 2018 – Game-based learning company Triseum and the National Art Education Association (NAEA) today announced a partnership to promote the power of art education, helping educators deliver comprehensive, balanced and sequential learning environments. The two organizations are working together to merge art education and game-based learning in ways that inspire active and creative learning experiences.

Triseum’s team of educators, instructional designers and gaming veterans will consult with NAEA about future developments in game-based learning. Triseum also has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from its immersive art history game, ARTé: Mecenas, to the NAEA Art Educator Scholarship Fund. NAEA will promote Triseum’s ARTe:  Mecenas game to its members, sharing ideas and insights to advance art history courses. NAEA also will provide consultation and support for Triseum’s games in design, representing an important voice for the art education community when it comes to research and standards.

Triseum CEO and Texas A&M professor André Thomas recently presented at the NAEA National Convention in Seattle in a session that explored the impact of game-based learning on art curriculum and outcomes, as well as ways that interactive gaming technology is inspiring new opportunities for students to learn. He showcased ARTe: Mecenas and shared research demonstrating how the game has boosted student knowledge by as much as 25 percent.

“Imagination and inspiration are core to art education. Game-based learning presents an ideal way for students to express themselves and try new things, while at the same time staying engaged and motivated in the learning process,” said Thomas. “Our team shares NAEA’s passion for art education. Together, we are empowering instructors to deliver modern and interactive learning experiences.”

“Game-based learning is a dynamic way to engage learners in problem solving activities that promote critical thinking and help educators assess learning,” said NAEA Chief Learning Officer Dennis Inhulsen. “ARTé: Mecenas is a strategy game with targeted learning outcomes that support traditional college-level Art History and Art Appreciation courses.  Gameplay will reveal the interconnectedness of art patronage, economics and political pressures that surround the commissioning of famous Italian Renaissance artworks.” 

About NAEA

Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Members include elementary, middle, and high school visual arts educators; college and university professors; university students preparing to be art educators; researchers and scholars; teaching artists; administrators and supervisors; and art museum educators—as well as more than 49,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society.