At ISTE 2012 Pearson Launches New Zeos Program to Engage Students in Content and Skill Assessment

SAN DIEGO – June 25, 2012 –At the annual ISTE conference in San Diego today, Pearson launched Zeos, an online standards mastery program that utilizes “gamification,” the application of elements of game-based learning design, to engage students in grades three through ten in assessment practice. By measuring against mathematics and English language arts performance requirements, Zeos helps teachers prepare students for both current statewide assessments and the transition to new Common Core assessments slated for school year 2014-2015.

In classrooms this fall, Zeos offers a link to classroom curricula by providing actionable, real-time data that can inform instruction throughout the year. This immediate access to student data enables formative evaluation of student performance, meaning teachers have insight into how each student is performing daily. Armed with this information, teachers can make knowledgeable decisions about classroom instruction and understand where each student may need remediation or intervention.

Building off research that shows game-based programs can positively impact student engagement and achievement, Zeos guides students through test preparation. In Zeos, each student can customize his or her “superhero” avatar, which allows the student to gain a sense of self within Zeos. The gameified program also includes a rewards system that provides motivation and encourages student enthusiasm.

Additionally, students fulfill their social needs through peer interaction opportunities, like messaging and “zapping” as a way to show approval for other students’ avatars.

Dr. Karl Kapp, Professor of Instructional Technology and Authority on Gamification, helped inform the design of Zeos. According to Dr. Kapp’s research, “The Zeos program has many game-like elements specifically included to engage students and to encourage them to spend time on the task of test preparation. The theoretical underpinnings, student interface conventions and empirical research studies that govern the functionality and features of Zeos all contribute to the overall test preparation activities and environment in which students will be participating.”

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