THE ACCELIUM METHOD
At the core of Accelium's methodology stands the notion that the most effective way to learn is through an authentic, engaging experience that leaves one wanting more. Games provide exactly that experience - they're entertaining, exciting, and create a deep sense of involvement, while bringing to mind a variety of ideas and dilemmas. Above all, game-playing promotes exploration without fear of mistakes and criticism. In other words - the methodology both stimulates learning and effectively simulates real life situations.
SIMPLE YET PROFOUND
OUR LEARNING PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL
Accelium’s research-proven learning process consists of 3 stages:
In the first stage, learners are taught one of the many strategy games in the program, then go on to play and acquire a basic proficiency in the game. The facilitator explains basic game strategies and underlying concepts, helping learners develop their game-playing skills.
In the second stage, the facilitator uses a metacognitive model to review the game-playing session and analyse cognitive and emotional processes triggered by the game. For example - identifying and dealing with a problem, making a difficult decision, recognising mistakes, etc.. Learners then acquire an effective strategy for dealing with the challenges they've encountered.
In the third stage, learners discover how the same cognitive and emotional processes are manifested in common real-world scenarios. The methods and strategies used in the game are then applied in the context of the real problem. In so doing, learners succeed in transferring the knowledge derived from the game experience to other aspects of life – professional, academic, social and personal.
THE METHOD IMPROVES MULTIPLE SKILLS
A CLEAR, MEASUREABLE EFFECT
THE RESEARCH BEHIND THE Accelium METHOD
A 2014 study by Harvard Business School researchers studied the effects of reflective thinking on professional task performance through two laboratory experiments combined with a field experiment conducted in a large Indian company. The researchers concluded that "...purposeful reflection on one’s accumulated experience leads to greater learning than the accumulation of additional experience... individuals who are given time to reflect on a task improve their performance at a greater rate than those who are given the same amount of time to practice with the same task."
The efficacy of the Accelium Method has been tested in a number of comparative research projects, most notably that of Professor Donald Green of Columbia University. The different projects confirm that the Accelium Method significantly improves learners' thinking abilities and life skills.
One project tested the hypothesis that children can be taught abstract strategic thinking by learning meta-cognitive models and by being exposed to the applications of these models in strategy games and in real-life situations. The study included children ages 8-12, from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
In the first stage, all children played an online version of the game “Move IT". Their game performance and progress were monitored. In the second stage, children in the research group were taught abstract models for problem-solving, and their analogies to real-life situations. They were then shown how to apply these models in the games. The children in the control group simply participated freely in game-playing sessions. In the third stage, all children were taught a new game, “Ping Wins.” Both groups received identical instruction.
The results show that children in the research group significantly improved their performance levels comparing to the control group, even though the latter were allocated more time in their game-playing sessions. The remarkable fact is that even in Stage Three, the research group achieved notably higher results. In fact, the disparity between the two groups actually increased between Stages Two and Three.
The Accelium Method & Problem Solving
The researchers concluded that:
1. Accelium's problem-solving models significantly improved children’s strategic thinking skills.
2. The children who learned Accelium's abstract models succeeded in transferring this knowledge to new fields.
A second research project, carried out by Professor Donald Green of Yale University, tested the hypothesis that the study of Accelium strategies and thinking concepts improves children’s “language of thinking.”
At the beginning of the study, the children’s language of thinking was evaluated using a list of “thinking-concepts": all students were required to choose the most suitable definition for concepts such as: decision, goal, planning, problem, process. The research group – deliberately composed of children whose scholastic abilities had been assessed as weak – then took part in a weekly lesson of the Accelium Method over a three-month period. During that time, the control group was exposed to the same strategy games but did not participate in reflective post-game discussions, an essential part of the Accelium Method.
Both groups' "thinking vocabulary" was then evaluated again.
The Accelium Method and linguistic skills
The three main conclusions of this research project are:
1. The learning of Accelium strategic and thinking concepts enriches and elaborates children’s language of thinking and considerably enhances their language skills.
2. Children whose participation was limited to the playing of mind games, tended to improve their language of thinking, albeit to a lesser extent than those children who took part in the Accelium post-game reflective discussion.
3. The Accelium Method is especially effective among children with weak scholastic achievements. Professor Green metaphorically referred to the Accelium Method as one that "uncovers 'diamonds in the rough' and then polishes them", helping them to grow.
“On the basis of these results, I strongly urge the continuation and development of this line of experiments. The question of how to improve strategic reasoning abilities has all but escaped rigorous scientific attention, and this research project promises to make important and useful contributions to knowledge.
Findings of the studies to date demonstrate a strong positive influence exerted by the Accelium Method on children’s scholastic achievements in general, and particularly in the fields of mathematical and language skills. Additional research projects are planned for the coming years in an effort to further evaluate and augment the Accelium Method.”
Professor Donald Green, Columbia University (Formerly Yale), USA