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ELEKTRA

Project ID: 027986
Funded under

Enhanced Learning Experience and Knowledge Transfer

From 2006-03-01 to 2008-02-29, closed project | ELEKTRA Website

Project details

Total cost:

EUR 3 046 710

EU contribution:

EUR 2 420 000

Coordinated in:

Germany

Call for proposal:

FP6-2004-IST-4See other projects for this call

Funding scheme:

STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project

Description

The missing e-learning ingredient? The fun!

Homework is about to get more exciting for Europe’s bored students, with the power of computer games being harnessed for home learning.

Parents and teachers often despair at the amount of time children spend playing video games. Research has shown home computers are used twice as often for playing games as for doing homework. The studies have also shown that homework is only the third priority when school children use computers.

For the past two years a team of European researchers has been working on developing teaching tools that are also video games. This strategy is in itself not new, but the type of game they are developing is.

Breaking the boredom barrier

The starting point of the ELEKTRA project is a recognition of the deficits of the current generation of digital learning games. Such learning tools are simply boring compared to the games they emulate. So one of the goals of the research is to make learning games fun.

In fact the EU-funded project’s stated vision is to make learning as exciting as playing leading-edge computer games.

The researchers decided to approach the task using a multidisciplinary approach. The partners on the ELEKTRA project are not just IT specialists and games developers but also come from a variety of other disciplines. Alongside the tech heads are educationalists, cognitive psychologists and even neuroscientists.

Pedagogy meets computer science

Pedagogy, the art of being a teacher, is combined with neuroscience, cognitive science, and plain old computer science.

The researchers first examined what gamers find particularly appealing about popular video games so as to develop educational programs that are equally colourful and exciting.

They found that a high degree of interactivity and realism attracted gamers and kept them playing. Such games usually make the user an active protagonist faced with a series of choices and complex features. They tended to keep players engaged until the end of the game.

The researchers also found that gamers become embedded in an entertaining universe with its own rules and residents.

Getting lost in a new universe

Based on these factors the researchers set out to develop a game based on the school curriculum, and chose Grade 8-level optics for the test. They created an interactive universe in which the great Italian scientist Galileo Galilei is the main character.

The facial expressions for the game’s characters were refined with help from the neuroscientists. They used sophisticated scanning equipment to determine how brain activity varied when different computer-generated expressions were shown.

The other specialists chipped in with their own pieces of the puzzle to ensure the learner-player becomes involved in a situation which he or she considers important and meaningful.

While the game itself it is still very much an ongoing project with much work yet to be done, students who tried out the first ELEKTRA game were very impressed. The researchers have opened the door to a new generation of learning games.

As a result, parents may soon be encouraging their kids to head for the home computer and start playing ‘games’.

Objective

ELEKTRA will develop an innovative design and development methodology for producing e-learning experiences. This methodology will be derived from combining State of the Art (SoA) research in cognitive science, pedagogical theory and neuroscience with best industrial practice in computer game design and e-learning software design. As a demonstrator ELEKTRA will produce a 3D virtual reality based virtual learning environment, in which learners can experience learning experiences as rich as gaming experiences. Through these enhanced learning experiences learners will be able to actively interact with and visualise the relationships between concepts and engage in multimodal approach of concepts. The anticipated outcome of ELEKTRA is new approach to design and development of e-learning experiences that is underpinned and supported by research and evaluation findings.

Related information

Documents and Publications

Coordinator contact

Daniel SCHWARZ, (Project Coordinator)
Tel.: +49 221 93187050
Fax: +49 221 93187051
E-mail

Coordinator

GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG KUENSTLERISCHER INFORMATIK E.V.
Germany

EU contribution: EUR 664 820


Germany
Activity type: Research Organisations
Administrative contact: Daniel Schwarz
Tel.: +4922193187050
Fax: +4922193187051
E-mail

Participants

UNIVERSITAET GRAZ
Austria

EU contribution: EUR 198 000


UNIVERSITATSPLATZ 3
8010 GRAZ
Austria
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative contact: Dietrich Albert
Tel.: +43 316 3805118
Fax: +43 316 3809806
E-mail
UNIVERSITE DE LIEGE
Belgium

EU contribution: EUR 205 807,20


PLACE DU 20 AOUT 7
4000 LIEGE
Belgium
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative contact: Marianne Poumay
Tel.: +3243662079
Fax: +3243663401
E-mail
BROADVIEW.TV GMBH
Germany

EU contribution: EUR 122 150


UBIERRING 61A
50678 KOLN
Germany
Activity type: Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative contact: Leopold Hoesch
Tel.: +49-221-5796430
Fax: +49-221-5796459
E-mail
UNIVERSITAET BREMEN
Germany

EU contribution: EUR 280 800


Bibliothekstrasse 1
28359 BREMEN
Germany
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative contact: Mathias Bopp
Tel.: +4942219160143
Fax: +4942219160199
E-mail
KLETT LERNEN UND INFORMATION GMBH
Germany

EU contribution: EUR 206 120


ROTEBUEHLSTRASSE 77
70178 STUTTGART
Germany
Activity type: Other
Administrative contact: Juergen A. Schmidt
Tel.: +4971166721976
Fax: +4971166721976
E-mail
ORT FRANCE
France

EU contribution: EUR 171 000


10 VILLA D'EYLAU
75116 PARIS
France
Activity type: Other
Administrative contact: Ganit Hirschberg
Tel.: +33-1-44173082
Fax: +33-1-57671356
E-mail
THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
Ireland

EU contribution: EUR 378 802,80


College Green
2 DUBLIN
Ireland
Activity type: Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative contact: Vincent Wade
Tel.: +353-1-6082091
Fax: +353-1-6772204
E-mail
TESTALUNA SRL
Italy

EU contribution: EUR 192 500


VIALE VITTORIO VENETO 14
20124 MILANO
Italy
Activity type: Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative contact: Leonardo Montecamozzo
Tel.: +390248195484
Fax: +390299982456
E-mail
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