Video Games and Stealth Assessment Technology

As many of us experienced during our childhoods, young kids are reluctant to do their schoolwork after school.  However, kids are more than happy to spend hours on end playing video games at night.  According to Valerie J. Shute, a Florida State University researcher, the solution to this issue is not to take games away from kids.  Rather it would be more effective to provide a more enjoyable learning experience by creating video games with educational content and assessment tools.  In addition, it would be positive to incorporate these games into the school curriculum.

The concept known as ‘stealth assessment’ tries to disguise educational content in a way that kids won’t even realize that they’re being assessed while playing the game.  Furthermore, stealth-assessment technologies have many advantages over conventional teaching methods.  Shute said, “Based on a student’s responses to various situations that come up during the course of playing a video game, the game itself can be programmed to assess where that student might be especially strong or weak in core competencies.”  She then suggested that educational games could adapt its content to the needs of the student, providing more or less information depending on one’s progress in the game.  This stealth-assessment technology will not only be able to measure a student’s current level of knowledge, but can determine areas for improvement, and guide the student towards improvement by providing feedback, and perhaps making easier problems.

I think that this idea of stealth assessment could provide great results for students.  I know that when I was a kid I would definitely have been more engaged within a video game context, rather than learning in the classroom or doing written homework after school.  I would be curious to hear about what other students think about this stealth assessment technology.  Do you think it can work?  Or, are these research findings not substantial?  I for one think that this is a positive for the education systems.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110215102850.htm

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