This paper details a research study conducted on the ability of educational games to engage children and keep them engaged. Since online educational tools often fail to keep students’ attention, researchers hypothesized that video games could keep children engaged where other technologies could not. In order to test what kind of games would be most engaging, researchers designed several versions of a math game, including ones that awarded points randomly, ones that visualized progress, and other versions. After 25,000 children participated in the study online, researchers were able to determine the most effective structure for keeping children engaged in the educational game, namely, a structure that tracked progress and rewarded children for specific desirable behaviors without lecturing them. This research can be used to support other efforts to engage students in online educational systems.
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