Basing their adaptive learning programs on research to design programs that work, EdAlive has launched a series of online learning games to help students focus and use skills that they have learned in a game based, real time, adaptive situation.
EdAlive started in 1986 and has striven to provide educational resources that best fit the needs of teachers and students alike. Many of their products have been developed from previous CD-based products which were in widespread use in classrooms and homes across Australia. For the homeschool family, EdAlive offers curriculum for ages 5-15+ that works with students no matter their educational needs.
About the Game
One of EdAlive's newest offerings, Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online is an expansive math program that uses the power of adaptive learning to build a solid math foundation while strengthening problem solving and mathematical thinking. Designed for ages 5-15+, the program has more than 10,000 interactive questions covering more than 90% of most accepted math curriculum.
Content options are given that dictate how the program pulls questions for the game. Options include using all content available (more than 10,000 questions that range from various skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division, fractions, ratios, proportions, geometry, measurements,
probabilities, graphs and algebra. A second option instructs the program to pull from specific content. This is good if you would like your student to work only on a specific skill, such as division facts. A third option gives the ability to hand pick specific questions to be used for the game that focus on desired specific content.
Students log into their account and select the program. At this point, they can select a timed game or they can select how many "rounds" to play before the end of the game. They can then choose to host a game with their friends who might be on the website, join another player’s game that might currently be in progress, or they can choose to play against the computer. After making their selection, the game loads and players are taken to the game board.
One the game starts, a die at the top of the screen begins to roll. Players click on the die with their mouse in order to stop the roll and move the number shown. The game board is designed so that players can follow multiple option on the path. At this point, the player is given a question and is given two attempts to answer it correctly. Correctly answering the question adds points to the players Strength score.
Strength points can be earned by correctly answering the questions. These points can be used to purchase armor and weapons that can help them "slay the dragon" at the end of the game as well as to take first place over other players or the computer.
After completing the game, the student is then taken to a screen where they see how they performed.. Their accumulated strength points and courage points (which are earned by landing on a square that has a sword on it) are tallied up and the student is ranked against the other players.
What We Thought
I'll be completely honest, this wasn't well liked with the kids.
Garrett has attention issues and having to sit in front of the computer for a long period of time, trying to concentrate on a game that takes close to an hour to complete, wasn't happening. There just wasn't enough to it to keep his attention and he got rather frustrated pretty quick.
Ashleigh also found it the time it took to play somewhat exhausting and felt she spent way more time in front of the computer trying to complete the game then she spends for any of her actual schoolwork.
Even when I sat down to check it out myself, I found it took a lot longer than a game should take and honestly didn't find it entertaining. The program lacks any "fun" factor to make it entertaining. Yes, it has some cute graphics at the beginning but that tends to be it. Instead, the player spends roughly 45 minutes following a map around, without any real objectives. Granted, you have the option of either 20 turns or to set a time limit, and maybe setting a shorter time would have been better, but after a few play thru, the kids just were not interested regardless of the time limit.
I did enjoy seeing the adaptive aspect of the game. Rather than setting a grade level, we allowed the program to pull the questions pull the full library of available content. With over 10,000 random questions that can be pulled from, the chance of them getting the exact same question twice is unlikely.
This math game would probably be great for those students who do not have attention issues and do not want the "Wow Factor". As both my kids are gamers, the lack of more exciting graphics just left them bored. However, that's just my kids and both are on the older side of the targeted range for this program. Younger students would probably do very well with this program but with a lower set time limit or round limit, as 21 rounds just seemed to much to try to concentrate on this program.
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Members of the Crew were given the option to review three EdAlive programs with their families. Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.