×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Teachers Still More Effective at Educating Than ‘Assassin’s Creed’

“Assassin’s Creed Origins'” educational Discovery Tour mode was nearly as effective at educating grade and high school students about Ancient Egypt as a teacher, according to some preliminary research into the effectiveness of the add-on.

But there are quite a few catches.

The study was rather small, it tested knowledge on a very simple subject, and did so right after the students had either played the game or been instructed by a teacher.

Ultimately, those instructed by the game saw a 44% improvement of their knowledge and those lectured by a teacher saw a 51% improvement.

The most important takeaway from both Ubisoft’s creation of the free Discovery Tour add-on and the research was that the project is worth doing.

The information came out of a presentation Thursday night in New York City at the annual Games for Change Festival where Maxime Durand, the historian for Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, and University of Montreal professor Marc-André Éthier were among the presenters.

During their talk, the two outlined the creation of the Discovery Tour, its current state, and the desire to move it forward as an educational aid.

The Discovery Tour allows players of “Origins” to activate a mode that disables the game’s fighting systems and then explore a number of educational tours on a variety of historic topics in-game.

Durand said the first runthrough of those tours resulted in what would have been two-and-a-half hour sessions. That was thrown out and pared down to roughly five minutes. They were initially considering just 20 tours in the mode, but ended up with 75, he added.

Éthier, a former high school teacher who has been a professor of social sciences methodology at the university since 2004, has been working since 2015 on how teachers use textbooks and tools like films, books, graphic novels, and video games to teach history.

He did a study on the effectiveness of the game as a teacher after Ubisoft gave 300 students, aged 12 to 17, from nine schools a chance to try it out.

He said he took 40 students, split them into two groups and then had a test administered to check their knowledge on a specific tour topic.

He then had 20 of the students try the Discovery Tour and the other 20 students received a 12-minute lecture on the same topic from the teacher. Afterward, he tested the group again.

While the results showed that the teacher was still more effective as a tool for learning, it also generated a number of interesting questions, he said.

Questioned afterward, the students said that they find it to be easier to understand what parts of the information they were receiving was important when a teacher was present. Those that finished early, he found, went on to try other locations. The students also admitted they’d be unlikely to try Discovery Tour at home — instead they’d likely just play the regular game.

Éthier said in the future he would like to measure how effective the mode is in teaching more complex notions about things like society, politics, and agency and that he’d like to see if it could be used to measure the development of critical thinking. He also thinks it’s possible it could be more effective when used in conjunction with a teacher, rather than on its own.

While Ubisoft is currently developing a new Assassin’s Creed game, the Ancient Greece “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” they’ve declined to say whether it will include a Discovery mode too.

But Durand certainly made it sound like Ubisoft as a company isn’t done with the idea of education through Assassin’s Creed. He said the team would like to make the requirements to run the mode as a standalone, lower on a PC and that they have other work to do as well.

“This is the first time we did this,” he said. “It’s not perfect. But hopefully we’ll get more feedback.”

More Gaming

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • survios at the linq

    Not Just Gambling: Las Vegas Is Becoming a Virtual Reality Hub

    Walk into the Linq on the Las Vegas strip these days, and you might not immediately realize you just stepped into a casino. Instead, you’ll stumble across a series of living-room-like lounge setups, complete with leather couches, big-screen TVs, Xbox Ones and Oculus Go VR headsets. There’s also a bar with a massive wrap-around touch [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Game

    ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ to Launch This Week

    “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic is getting ready to launch its next big game: “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set to launch in June 21, the company revealed in a tweet this week. The worldwide launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins this Friday, June 21! Keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information [...]

  • Sarah Iooss - Twitch

    Twitch Hires Sarah Iooss, Former Mic and Viacom Exec, as Head of North America Sales

    Twitch has tapped Sarah Iooss, most recently EVP of revenue at millennial-news startup Mic, to lead the advertising sales team in North America for the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform focused on video gaming. Iooss will be based in New York, reporting to chief revenue officer Walker Jacobs, who joined Twitch last fall after serving as [...]

  • littlstar ps4 app

    Littlstar Expands Beyond VR With New PS4 App, Signs Up 30,000 Paying Subscribers (EXCLUSIVE)

    A&E-backed immersive content aggregator Littlstar is expanding beyond virtual reality (VR): The New York-based startup launched a dedicated PlayStation4 app this week, giving users of Sony’s game console access to their personal media libraries, as well as both traditional and 360-degree video content from a variety of publishers. Littlstar also announced that it signed up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content