Scientifically validated digital learning environments


CALL: 2016

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences


LAST NAME: Cardoso-Leite



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: video games, large-scale assessment, personalized training, transfer of learning, cognitive enhancement, learning to learn, applied cognitive sciences, real-life impact

START: 2017-06-01

END: 2022-05-31


Submitted Abstract

Learning is critical in most human endeavors and there is a great need for new means to enhance learning. Two main factors are limiting training interventions. The first is the problem of transfer: How do we train skills that are not specific to the training setting but generalize to new situations? The second is the problem of personalization: How do we design training interventions that adapt themselves to each individual to maximize learning? The answers to these questions might lie in modern entertainment technologies. Indeed, numerous studies have shown that playing action video games—unlike any other known intervention—causes broad attentional and cognitive improvements and might even enhance our ability to learn and transfer. Unfortunately, these games being commercial products designed for a specific audience, it is currently not possible to exploit these promising results for targeted interventions and systematic research.The goal of this project is to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying learning and transfer and to exploit new technologies to design scientifically validated interactive digital environments to efficiently enhance learning, transfer of learning and improve cognitive skills that are essential for the 21rst century. The project is articulated around three main axes. Firstly, we will pursue and extend ongoing work using modern data analyses techniques on existing data sets but also new behavioral and neuroimaging experiments to investigate the complex relationships between individual differences and learning outcomes. Secondly, we will investigate means to quantify and formalize learning as it unfolds with the goal of using that information for personalized training. Within this axis we will develop a testbed for personalized training in the form a digital game to assess and train early mathematical skills. Thirdly, we will develop a video game to improve peoples’ learning abilities in a way that matters for their real-life. This video game will allows us not only to test for the first time the dominant hypotheses about why action video games lead to broad cognitive benefits but will also incorporate several other intervention paradigms that are currently used in research to enhance cognitive abilities. This project will take advantage of Luxembourg’s cultural diversity to investigate training personalization and tackle the challenges that are inherent to this diversity. It will benefit from the University of Luxembourg’s unique capacity to systematically conduct longitudinal and large-scale standardized assessments to evaluate objectively the impact of training interventions on real-life outcomes. By combining a multidisciplinary approach with Luxembourg’s unique resources we not only expect to make important discoveries about learning and transfer but we also envision to create the best assessment and intervention tools that will directly benefit Luxembourg and might generate important revenues for the University of Luxembourg in the future.

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