At the beginning of the semester I decided to create a game to test memory. The topic of memory is important to be because I have someone in my family who suffers from dementia. Also I have notice that over the years my memory has declined slighty. I wanted to educate myself even more regarding this topic.
As a result of my interest in this topic I developed a tabletop game called WordPlay. This game is an alternate tool that can be used in the classroom to help students learn a new language. To observe the effects on memory among school aged children. My target sample were 6th grade students from a middle school. The subjects consist of both boys and girls age 10- 12 in an ESL class. To test their memory the game was designed encourage them to use their semantic memory to retrieve information regarding a list of vocabulary word that they previously learning. Before I began conducting the experiment I first discovered what research was already out there so see where I could improve or contribute. The population I decided on were IEPs,ELLs and regular general education students. These students were recruited by contacting a local middle school teacher to ask for permission to use their students.
To play the tabletop game WordPlay the students must first roll the die to determine who goes first then roll again to determine the spaces. Depending on the color they must fulfill certain task regarding the word i.e definitions. The first player to complete the board wins the game and the extra 5 point. However since this is an educational game all players must complete the board.
The teams were divided in 3 groups ELLs, IEPs and regular each consisting of 8 players who were divided in groups of four for a total of 24 players. Once the rounds were complete exam grades were observed before and after playing and it was determined that WordPlay did have a positive effect on memory.
Some research that was already done showed that playing games don’t have an effect on memory. However, others have proven otherwise. The data from my experiment is important because it closes the gap on this topic.
Playing tabletop games improves your memory
Exam scores were calculated for 6th grade ESL students from a middle school both before and after playing the tabletop game, WordPlay. Once the scores were collected they were then calculated to determine if there was any improvement in memory.As a result of playing this game it was determined that there was an increase in memory.
ELLs-7.63% increase; IEPs-7.16% increase; Regular -6.58% increase.These results are evidence which support the thesis that playing tabletop games improves memory.
Discovering if there is a correlation between playing games and memory is important. Currently there are researchers out there who have failed to see a relationship between video game playing and memory.
However there are others who strongly believe there is a correlation and have the research to prove it. There were several studies done to show the effects of playing games, in particular video games, on ones working memory. As a result of the studies the researchers suggest that over time there is an improvement in memory and attention due to the nature of the games.
Similar my experiment proves that there is indeed an improvement in memory over time which is a result of playing games that stimulate your brain.
My experiment solves a major problem in the field because based on a few studies; memory has become an increasing issue. As we age our memory starts to decline with simple things like forgetting where we put our keys. To combat this decline it’s recommended to engage in activities that help to strengthen your brain such as exercise, playing games or learning new skills.
Closing in the gap regarding whether game playing helps improve memory or not is important because it can be a tool to help patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s or ADHD in the future.
One study done at John Hopkins University tested the memory of 34 males both before and after playing action and non-action games. The result showed that there wasn’t a significant increase in playing action vs. non action games.
However, another study done at University of California suggests that playing video games does improve your memory particularly 3D vs. 2D games. The researcher says that the 3D games stimulate the hippocampus in the brain and increases attention as well. Additionally, Another study suggests that computerized games can have a long and short term benefit to individuals. Students in 1st grade, who didn’t attend school on a regular basis, played computerized games for less than 6 hours a day over a 10 week range. After the 10 week range the students felt encouraged to attend school and catch up with the work of their peers in math and language.
This relates to my experiment because I chose to focus on how memory is affected among grade school children regarding their ability to learn a new language by remembering words that are commonly found in the English dictionary.
The problem with this study is that because the subjects participated in this study during school time they were only able to partake for a limited time. Also, not all students were able to participate in the study which may have yielded different results.
Based on my result it shows that engaging in a board game such as WordPlay which is designed to help stimulate the brain does have an effect on the memory for 6th grade ESL students.
Although this experiment does show a correlation in memory as a result of playing games it only looks at this relationship for three different groups of learners. If I were to perform this experiment again I would divide the groups up by ethnicity, or even gender. My guess is that woman may perform better since they typically have better spatial skills however men typically play video games which have been proven to increase memory. Additionally, I would like to try this game on people who have be proven to have a decline their memory to see if there are improvements among them.
WordPlay consists of 24 players who were recruited from a middle school 6th grade class. Since I only received permission from 1 six grade teacher this was the only exclusion for this experiment however once completed it will be open to all 6th grade students.WordPlay includes both boys and girls from various different backgrounds. The ethnicities present in this experiment were Indian, spanish, creole, black, and middle eastern.
The subjects in WordPlay were broken up into three groups each containing 8 members to represent that group. For example one group was the IEPs and within this group there were a total of 8 players who played the game in two rounds of 4 players in each round.The experiment was presented in the form of a game. The responses were measured based on how quickly and accurately the subjects responded and comparing exam grades for each group.The subjects were simply asked to play their best and no cheating in order to get real results.
The grades both before and after playing WordPlay was collected for each of the three groups to determine if there was an improvement in their memory.For each group I calculated the average exam grades both before and after playing WordPlay for each student.
For the ELLs the average exam grade before playing this game was 65.5%. After playing WordPlay the average was 70.5%. To calculate this I added all the grades and divided by the number of participants, in this case there were 8 in total. Next, I calculated the standard deviation by taking the sum of each value in the set minus the average, then squaring this number and dividing by the number of subjects (N), then, calculating the square root of this number, which is 4.11 Finally I calculated the variance by finding the square root of the standard deviation which is 16.86
I used this formula for all groups and the numbers are as follow. The average for the IEPs is 73.38 and 78.63 respectively.Standard deviation 4.07 and 2.50, the variance is 16.55 and 6.27 For the regular 6th graders the average grade before the game was 85.5 after the game was 91.13. Standard deviation was 2.93 and 2.85 and the variance was 8.57 and 8.13 respectively. I compared the average of each group before and after playing WordPlay by using the t test. To calculate the t test I used numbers that I already calculated such as average, standard deviation etc. and plugged them into a formula.
For the t test which is used to reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis I also needed to know the degrees of freedom which is computed by N+N-2, in this case if was 14.Since I wanted to have a 95% confidence interval which is a value that is close to the true value I set my significance level to 0.05%.Using a t test value table I determined that my critical value is – 2.15 and +2.15 and depending on the result from my calculations I will reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis( Ho).For the ELLs t= 3.44, IEPs t=3.65 and regular 6th grade t= 5.43. Since all scores were in the rejection region on the two tail bell curve I rejected the null hypothesis for all groups meaning there is a difference in these sets of data.
The overall average for the regular 6th grades were significantly higher than that of ELLs. This make sense to me because the ELLs had some difficulties understanding the concept of the game. To resolve this I had them observe others before playing.
WordPlay is a 2-4 player table top game for players in 6th grade between the ages of 10-12 years old. The total amount of players in this game is 24 players altogether.The game is an exciting, fun way for ESL students to learn new vocabulary words that appears in the English language. Since there are no controllers used in this game it takes place in the real world.The rules are easy to follow however some groups had difficulties understanding how to play so they had to observe others before playing. The first step is for all players to roll the dice to determine the order, then they roll again to determine the number of spaces they will move along the board. WordPlay is a linear game as the players can only move forward and backward. The player receives feedback from the instructor and interacts directly with the game. The colors on the board represent different task the players must fulfill such as yellow means they must properly use the word in a sentence. The different colors represent different things however there is also the “Wild Card” in which the player must use their semantic memory to recall words taught from a previous lesson. If the player lands on the “Wild Card” they have 2 minutes to successfully fulfill all 4 task for the word selected.
The players were divided in different groups of students of similiar IQs who all had a fair chance to win the game so WordPlay is balanced and there is nothing broken in the game. Once all players pass “start” the game is complete however, the first player who passes “start” will receive 5 extra points on the next exam. As this is the only thing they receive from playing this game, the players must work hard in order to get the points. The conflict in this game is when the students started to yell out the answers, not allowing the other players a chance to answer on their own. Since it is sometimes difficult to retrieve things from your long term memory especially after some time has passed, this may be the only challenge in WordPlay because players need to recall words from both the new unit and old unit. After the WordPlay is completed the player will have a better understanding of a new language and new vocabulary words as well as the extra points so for this reason, the achiever in the Bartle Taxonomy will most like this game. Overall, the players in WordPlay are engaged as it is a fun game that allows them to use their memory in an exciting way.
WordPlay consist of 24 subjects who were recruited from a 6th-grade middle school class. They are students of a particular 6th-grade teacher so this is the only criteria. The demographics were obtained from a questionnaire that was administered to each subject.The participants consist of both boys and girls and a variety of ethnicities were represented such as Hispanic and Arabic.
WordPlay is an educational tool that can be used in the classroom to teach students new words; it was presented as an ordinary game to the subjects to avoid the results being skewed.The responses were observed for accuracy and speed which indicates an improvement in memory. The subjects were broken up into three groups, ELLS, IEPS, and Regular. For each group there were two trials each containing 4 students for a total of 24 subjects. Each group contained a mix of different gender and ethnicity, Spanish, Arabic, etc. After the grades for the exam were calculated, all subjects had an overall improvement that was proportionate to their group. Additionally, there were improvements in their personal score. There was greater overall improvement in the regular 6th-grade students score compared to the others. The results were exciting to observe since there was an improvement as a result of playing WordPlay.
WordPlay is a 2-4 player table top game for players in 6th grade between the ages of 10-12 years old. The game is an exciting, fun way for ESL students to learn new vocabulary words that appears in the English language. It takes place in the real world as there are no controllers used in this game. The rules are easy for all players to follow. The first step is for all players to roll the dice to determine the order, then they roll again to determine the number of spaces they will move along the board. WordPlay is a linear game as the players can only move forward and backward. The player receives feedback from the instructor and interacts directly with the game. The colors on the board represent different task the players must fulfill such as yellow means they must properly use the word in a sentence. The different colors represent different things however there is also the “Wild Card” in which the player must use their semantic memory to recall words taught from a previous lesson. If the player lands on the “Wild Card” they have 2 minutes to successfully fulfill all 4 task for the word selected. There is nothing broken in WordPlay and it’s balanced since all players have a fair chance at winning. Once all players pass “start” the game is complete however, the first player who passes “start” will receive 5 extra points on the next exam. As this is the only thing they receive from playing this game, the players must work hard in order to get the points. Since it is sometimes difficult to retrieve things from your long term memory especially after some time has passed, this may be the only challenge in WordPlay because players need to recall words from both the new unit and old unit. After the WordPlay is completed the player will have a better understanding of a new language and new vocabulary words as well as the extra points so for this reason, the achiever in the Bartle Taxonomy will most like this game. Overall, the players in WordPlay are engaged as it is a fun game that allows them to use their memory in an exciting way.
The subjects in WordPlay are from a particular 6th-grade class in a middle school. The ethnicities the subjects are mixed but include Hispanics, Indian, and Haitians. There were 20 students both boys and girls ranging from the age of 10-12 years old. The narrow down the demographics a questionnaire was administered using pencil and paper. Since the rules were previously explained to the subjects i didn’t have to explain in details. However, for those that missed the class they were briefly explained once more as well as being reminded that they could be disqualified if they failed to follow the rules and respect each other. In addition to how accurate the students were able to answer, I also observed response time. Measuring the time it took them to respond let me know how well they remember and if the word was unclear. For the purpose of this experiment,the only condition of WordPlay is to be in 6th grade and a student of the specific teacher who granted permission to use their students. I did not forewarn them that their answers would be observed and the results would be used for a study because I wanted natural responses. Doing this prevented the results from being swayed a certain way. Once the game was completed, test results were observed to determine if there were any improvements in the memory of the subjects since playing the game. Because the students had prior knowledge of the rules they were able to jump right in. they were excited to play just like the first time. There was a slight improvement in accuracy for some. However, other had a difficult time recalling words from the previous unit as expected. The wild card was drawn a couple times and the first time the student couldn’t remember at all. The other time the student could hardly remember but got close to the fulfilling the task. I attribute this to lack of studying and the time that had passed. I may wait a couple days before administering the experiment again since this could affect their memory. Doing this will help me determine how well they remember after some time has elapsed. All in all, I think WordPlay is a fun board game that will be used to help prove my thesis.
The game that I developed is called WordPlay. The audience for this game are ESl students of a 6th grade middle school class. The subjects are a mix of both boys and girls between the age of 10-12 of mixed ethnicities. The rules were explained to the subjects before the game began, then they rolled the dice to determine the order. Once the game began it still took the subjects some time to get used to playing the game. I had to reiterate the rules to them one more time. Based on what I observed, the subjects simply forgot what the colors meant. However, after a couple turns they started to get the hang of it. As far as remembering the words the success was split in half. Fifty percent of them struggled to remember the definitions etc and the other 50 did a satisfactory job. Considering this was the first trial I think my results were good. I look forward to running this experiment a couple times and then observing the results.
The board game WordPlay will be used to measure the effects of memory on 6th grade students in a middle school. The subjects consist of both boys and girls in and ESL class between the age of 10- 12 years old. A questionnaire was used to determine the ethnicity of the subjects which include Haitian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African American and Indian. Once the volunteers were determined, the rules were explained to them and they were given the opportunity to ask questions regarding it. The subjects must first roll the dice to determine who will go first, second, etc. Then they roll again to determine how many spaces they will move along the board. The colors on the board represent different task they must fulfill, such as defining a word. If they answer incorrectly they move back to their original spot before they rolled the dice. First person to end up back at start will win the extra points on the next exam. The results from the exams will used to determine if there was an effect on memory since playing WordPlay and thus proving the thesis.