"You learn something and then you know it already before it's done in class."
- Pupil from Leonard Gymnasium School, Aachen, Germany
takomat is the European R & D pioneer for the new learning with games. The takomat team initiated and coordinated interdisciplinary research initiative and award winning ELEKTRA project in 2005 in the 6th Research Framework Programme of the European Union and thus led a very successful paradigm shift in the Technology Enhanced Learning.
ELEKTRA was awarded at the conclusion of 2008 by the European Commission as a EU STAR PROJECT. The successor project 80Days (2008-2010) was based on the basic research from ELEKTRA.
Since 2008 takomat is a limited company "GmbH". takomat GmbH uses its IP, which are the methods and apparatus to put the R&D Results(see right column) into digital games, for their Good Games.
- A new design discipline - The Learning Game Design
- The psycho-educational extension of Game Technologies
- The Learning Games - the theory comes into play with prototypes
- Qualitative validation: Memorizing technique storytelling works
- Qualitative validation: Learning Games motivate for learning(Examples of three pupils are given in the video of ELEKTRA in the left column of this page at time 04:50)
- Quantitative validation: With emotional expressive characters your brain is more active during learning(An example of the result is given in the interview in the video in the left column of this page at time 03:05)
- The use of metacognition methods increases the learning
Enhanced Learning Experience and Knowledge Transfer
ELEKTRA (2006-2008) was a European research initiative to find new learning methods for the modern world.
We know that for human beings, learning is reward and motivation enough in itself to venture down the path of learning freely. On the back of this, we then need to ask three key questions:
How did our civilisation allow learning to become such an unpleasant chore that we perceive it more as work and drudgery than entertainment?
Why don’t we learn how to learn from games?
Can modern computer games play a part in bringing learning and playing together?
The European Commission also asked these same questions as part of a tendering procedure to the European research landscape.
Six applications were selected from more than one hundred received, and among those accepted was the research project from Cologne, Germany, launched by takomat founders Daniel Schwarz, Guido Doublet and Lars Maria Schnatmann, under the name ELEKTRA (Enhanced Learning Experience and Knowledge TRAnsfer). The ELEKTRA team was tasked with the question of whether learning efficiency could really be improved through the use of computer games, and if so, should a methodology be developed to this end? The question received resounding confirmation from all research disciplines involved in the project (educators, psychologists, cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, designers and games developers) following a scientific evaluation involving 922 European students. To implement this improved learning efficiency in games, an interdisciplinary design methodology was developed for the new discipline of educational game design. This educational game design brings together instructional design and game design to allow computer games to be an effective means of education. This innovative learning method is based on special technologies (educational game technologies), which were also developed and evaluated as part of the project. In April 2008, following an examination of all written, recorded results and a review by European Commission experts, ELEKTRA was awarded the “Star Project” title for European research excellence.
For more information on the project, see: http://www.elektra-project.org
Preliminary and planning phase: January 2005 to February 2006. Active duration: March 2006 to February 2008 (24 months).
MANPOWER: 48 person years (or more precisely, 576.8 person months). More than the entire career of one researcher!
COST: Total cost: €3.1 million (financial contribution from the European Union - €2.42 million).
- Laboratory for Mixed Realities in der Gesellschaft zur Förderung künstlerischer Informatik e.V., Cologne, Germany.
- Center for Advanced Imaging of the Universities of Bremen and Magdeburg.
- Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
- KLETT Lernen und Wissen GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany).
- University of Liege (Belgium).
- TESTALUNA SRL (Milan and Genoa, Italy).
- ORT FRANCE (Paris, France).
- BROADVIEW TV (Cologne, Germany).
THE EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK
The Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (also known as FP6, short for Framework Programme Six) derived from the Lisbon Strategy of 2000 and followed FP5. Objective: To strengthen European competitiveness by establishing a common research area (ERA - European Research Area).
Budget: €17.5 billion.
80Days - around an inspiring virtual learning world in eighty days
All results of the ELEKTRA project were passed to the 80Days project. The 80Days project has a slightly different consortium.
What is the goal of 80Days project? In a few simple words, learn by playing and having fun! Do we manage to combine playing and learning ? As a result, enhance the learning success - and the fun of it.