Math creates anxiety and tension for most students, across the globe. The primary reason for this being students fail to understand the mathematical concepts and relate them to the real world. Furthermore, these underlying causes create low self-confidence and stress when students appear for the math exams.
What obstacles K-12 content providers faced with time while developing eLearning solutions for mathematics?
Most parents and teachers felt that traditional methodology of teaching math has to be mixed with newer forms of learning in such a manner that learning a concept is more fun, interesting and engaging. Based on these suggestions, between 1990 and 2005, many K-12 content providers in India started developing visual based content to support conventional forms of learning. Parents and teachers felt multiple static visual content developed by K-12 content providers was creative and helped to a certain extent to explain a concept. But images being two-dimensional, students couldn’t comprehend the math concepts in three-dimensional space. For example, a prism in a static image (fig 1) may look like a triangle but in reality it is not so. This way students understood the mathematical concepts related to two dimensional figures but perceived concepts related to volume (3 dimensional figures) as complex and ambiguous.
Problems faced by the students with higher level math concepts (high school)
Students find math problems related to simple calculation such as addition and subtraction easy, as they are able to understand them easily and apply the learnt concepts to the real world situations. However when it comes to higher level concepts such as, trigonometry, calculus, and equations, students often find the concepts tough to grasp. Even if students understood the high school theories, many students are clueless on how to apply them to the day to day life scenarios. Further when detailed analysis was made by eLearning companies in India, it was observed that children failed to answer a problem because they did not comprehend mathematical word problems.
How K-12 content providers made math more relevant and relatable to students with 3D animation and storytelling methodologies?
K-12 content providers in India came up with the approach of using 3D animation and storytelling in form of short videos. The 3D animation helped students to comprehend a concept related to polyhedron in X, Y, and Z planes (3-Dimensional view). Similarly word problems based on volumes; work and time; trigonometry, and calculus became easy to visualize and understand with 3D animation. Similarly, questions and answers when explained in three dimensions were easier to follow. To make math fun, interactive and engaging, simulations and animated games were added. To make the eLearning solution more learner-centric, eLearning companies in India introduced assessments, group projects, and tests along with 2D and 3D animations to evaluate student’s understanding. These features allowed parents and teachers to check student’s progress and performance. The amalgamation of 2D, 3D animated videos, tests, quizzes, and gaming not only made math content easy, fun, interesting, but also reduced stress of the students from an early age and helped the learners to apply them in day to day life.