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Co-op gaming is a smart way to teach, says new research

Tasking students to play educational games cooperatively helps motivate progression and learning, according to a new study.

Researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development recently compared the performance of middle-school students who played math game FactorReactor with classmates, against those who played alone. They found that co-op players were able to demonstrate a better mastery of the lesson in tests. They also scored higher in polls on how much the lesson was enjoyed.

"We found support for claims that well-designed games can motivate students to learn less popular subjects, such as math," said Jan Plass, one of the study's authors. "Game-based learning can actually get students interested in the subject matter and can broaden their focus beyond just collecting stars or points."

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