By taking advantage of the many ways that people learn, we can learn new things at a faster rate than we would with a traditional classroom, according to research published on Monday.
The idea behind the new approach is to use video games to teach and test learning at the same time, and then ask participants to write down what they learn.
They are then asked to use their skills to solve a problem that they are not fully familiar with.
This process is called asynchrony learning, and is based on the idea that learning occurs when a brain is synchronised with an external source, like an interactive toy, according the research, published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“If you can use a computer and a video game to teach, then it’s going to be easier for you to understand,” said study lead author Prof John R. Smith from the University of Exeter.
“If you don’t have a computer, the task is a little bit more complicated, but if you have a video-game, it’s easier.”
The new method, called asynchronous learning and has been applied to a wide range of learning problems, including language, music and even maths, but this is the first study to apply it to blackboard learning.
This is an important step because it opens up the possibility that we can use video-games to teach things we otherwise would not be able to, which is a good thing.
“Video games can be very helpful in teaching.
They can be a good distraction for a teacher to get their students working on their homework,” said Dr Sarah MacLeod, the study’s first author.
“But they also work well as a way of teaching problems that we could not otherwise learn, which gives us an opportunity to apply the idea of learning synchronously.”
To do this, the researchers used the Brain Activity Tracking System, a technique which uses brain scans to record brain activity as it is being completed.
By tracking the movements of the brain, the participants were able to figure out when they had done what they were supposed to, and to track the progress of their progress.
They were able also to measure how well the students were able with each task and how long it took them to complete them.
“In a lot of cases the students are already good at what they’re doing, but we know from research on the brain that some of them are still struggling to do it,” said Professor Smith.
“So if you can get some people into this sort of learning system, that can be the start of a process of getting them going.”
To test the system, the team gave each student a black-board with a black background and asked them to solve an example problem in real time.
When they were told they had to write it down, they were asked to make a mental note about it.
The students who completed the task faster were also more likely to finish it in time than the slower ones.
The team’s next step was to compare the results of this experiment with previous research, and compare them to the results from people who were not given a video guide.
The team found that people who had been given a guide to the video game were better at solving the task than those who had not.
“There are lots of people out there who could be doing this,” said Smith.
“We can help them by making sure they are trained and getting them into this process, which will be a much more effective way of helping people learn.”
In a separate experiment, they used a different approach to teach asynchronous learning.
Participants were asked how long they spent studying, how well they understood maths concepts and how well their students were using their knowledge.
These three measures are known as speed, accuracy and retention, and all three are closely related to learning.
The results showed that video-gaming students had significantly higher retention rates than those in the traditional classroom.
“The speed measures were similar, and the retention measures were even more similar.
In the traditional setting, people tend to lose confidence in the information they are learning and can be less motivated to learn,” said Prof Smith.
These results mean that we now have the potential to teach people with a video or game background as well as non-video or non-gaming learners using this approach.
This work was funded by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
The full research article is available at http://news.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/03/17/20150331_4.full