Badges and bells

Posted on September 25, 2015


I’m scoping out design ideas so I wandered over to Khan Academy, among other places… and it looks really nice. It’s encouraging… there are a million badges you can earn…
I like that when you’re presented with a problem you can click and watch a movie about it right then and there, though the movie might not actually tell you about that lesson (I clicked on it when I was asked what 7 x 1 was and saw a pretty nice video explaining that 12 could be put into groups and expressed as 3 x 4 or 4 x 3 or 6 x 2 or 2 x 6.)
The sequence is also basically scrambled. The skills on my current mission are arithmetic skills with answers less than 1000.
That’s right, it switches from operation to operation, with varying levels of difficulty — I’d be willing to bet that it was programmed for Problems With Answers Less Than 1000, as opposed to in a sequence to develop concepts.
I guess it’s “logical” — none of the problems or videos say to memorize anything. Therefore, it’s not about memorizing — it’s about concepts! Or not…
Math is, of course, a thing that’s a bunch of problems to do, right? To get marked right?
Oh, and if you get the first one right? You’re done –move along. Otherwise you have to get lots of ’em right (3 in a row will do, or 5 right, I believe — nicer than ALEKS). Makes the calculator *really* tempting because you want those badges and rewards!
It’s really a sweet website — pretty much everything except the pedagogy is delightful. And hey, what’s the big deal about pedagogy, anyway?

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