Arcademic Skill Builders, a free online resource offering educational video games, has announced the release of a new subscription-based option, which includes score tracking features and a Learning Management System (LSM) for educators. The games, which are now visited by 1.7 million students every month, have significantly expanded in scope, content and functionality.
With the new score tracking features, subscribers can now track student scores automatically through a database. Upon tracking, Arcademic publishes a leader board with a "top scores" list for each of the games, along with "game achievements." For example, these achievements equate with "trophies" and highlight students who answered a certain number of questions correctly during game play. These recent additions dramatically increase student motivation and also result in higher game usage at home since their individual success is acknowledged and rewarded with "prizes" that are displayed on their homepages to highlight their hard work.
In addition to score tracking, Arcademics is also offering educators a back-end Learning Management System (LMS), which allows teachers and parents to instantly observe reports on student performance, which detail areas of growth (accuracy and rates), most missed problem questions, charts illustrating increased success for all subject topics, and provide a comparison of student performance with longitudinal averages. The LMS also permits teachers to immediately provide differentiated instruction by assigning custom content to students. For example, one group of students could be high achievers and receive advanced multiplication problems while another group of students could be assigned remedial content to practice; all students would still play each other in the same game while practicing content customized to their needs and skill level. Ultimately, this lends to retaining the benefits of social learning and motivation, while still offering the individualized attention that students require, according to the announcement. The LMS is a technological solution that places the power of Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies in the hands of teachers for use on a day-to-day basis.
All Arcademic Skill Builders games will remain free of charge to users. A beta version of the new subscription-based option, complete with the score tracking and LMS features, will be available free of charge to educators for a test period until early fall 2011. Teachers who help Arcademics test this new beta version and provide feedback will receive 50% off the first year's subscription. Upon commencement of the 2011-2012 school year, the subscription-based model will cost $199 per year for an average classroom of 30 students; discounts may apply for larger groups.
Source: Arcademic Skill Builders, www.arcademicskillbuilders.com