An unprecedented research and development effort aims to transform learning and assessment practices through digital games

GlassLab is exploring the potential for existing, commercially successful digital games to serve both as potent learning environments and real-time assessments of student learning. By integrating learning and assessment in a single engaging, data-rich experience, the Lab aims to deliver students and teachers powerful, pioneering tools to improve the process of learning and accelerate progress on the path toward college and career.

The Lab’s work is focused initially on assessments that track learning gains in middle school students against the Common Core State Standards and key twenty-first century skills, like systems thinking, perseverance and creative problem solving.

Currently situated on the Redwood Shores campus of Electronic Arts near Redwood City, California, the Lab will draw on top Silicon Valley talent to produce innovative digital games, both modifications of existing commercially successful titles as well as original mini-games developed at the Lab. The Lab will also draw on top learning and assessment experts from academia, industry and the non-profit sector to produce new approaches to assessment design. In addition, the Lab will generate new processes for commercial game designers and game development studios and assessment and learning experts to come together to do great work.

Specifically, the Lab seeks to explore and build a body of credible evidence around the following three hypotheses: (1) digital games with a strong simulation component may be effective learning environments; (2) game-based formative assessments may be well suited to detecting learning gains and offer ethical assessment environments, insofar as they capture learning in the environment where it occurs; and (3) game-based assessments may yield valid, reliable assessment measures.

The Lab represents a ground-breaking collaboration between the Institute, the Entertainment Software Association, Electronic Arts, Educational Testing Service, Pearson’s Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning and others.

For more information, visit the GlassLab website.

To learn more about GlassLab’s first game, SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! please visit the SimCityEDU website.

To learn more about research conducted as part of the GlassLab project, please visit GlassLab Research.

GlassLab Short

Video by JR Sheetz