Improve reading through an educational game

Educational game ‘Leesturbo’ (English = Read turbo) has been highly successful due to collaboration between Zwijsen, Radboud University Nijmegen and digital agency Liftov.

In order to encourage automation of word recognition, Zwijsen developed ‘Leesturbo’ in collaboration with Radboud University Nijmegen and digital agency Liftov.

Self-confidence

A lot of practice with smooth, correct reading is important to achieve good automatic word recognition.  This also supports comprehension of the text: the less time and energy a pupil has to devote to word recognition, the more attention he can pay to understanding what he is reading.

Less able pupils have to contend with less self-confidence, find it difficult to read fast and so don’t read.  This also has an effect on the reading results in other subjects.  Leesturbo is an additional pupil program in the Zwijsen software ‘Veilig leren lezen’ (EN = ‘Learn to read reliably’).

Game mechanism

The game mechanism, in which you have to categorize words as fast as possible, in combination with the narrative context and positive direct feedback makes this game unique.  The game features Tim the postman.  Tim delivers the post all over the world, and the pupil helps him do it.  The pupil reads a word in every assignment, and then has to say whether it is a word that exists or not, or the meaning category to which the word belongs, such as people, animals, food and drink, and sport and games.

Because when reading, the pupil has to create a link with the meaning of the word read, in-depth processing of the word takes place.  The more characteristics of the word are evoked, the more strongly the word is rooted in the pupil’s memory, and the faster it can be retrieved from the memory subsequently.

The close cooperation between our educational experts, the researchers from Radboud University and the design and development team of Liftov was enjoyable and productive.

Annemieke Smits

Uitgever, Zwijsen Publishing House

Result

Research has shown that the learning effect is much greater (twice as fast) than with existing practices.  It appears that children who practise with Leesturbo make more progress in the Three-Minute-Test than children who don’t.  What is unusual is that the same effect occurs with words that are not practised in Leesturbo.

The collaboration between the three specialised partners (university, gamification design and publisher) has proven a great success.

Mariek Witlox (Liftov): “Our collaboration is really great. We genuinely complement each other, and contribute our specific expertise to an exceptional result which has proven successful in stimulating reading ability and thus pupils’ self-confidence.”

Annemieke Smits (Uitgever Zwijsen publishing house: “The close cooperation between our educational experts, the researchers from Radboud University and the design and development team of Liftov was enjoyable and productive.  Leesturbo has become an attractive game, underpinned by an evidence-based concept with a significant learning effect, and pupils enjoy practising with it.”

Contact person:
Mariek Witlox
Liftov
mariek.witlox@liftov.nl
0031620248836