Elements scaffolding to be like algebra game
Hi, have just started using Elements after using DragonBox12+ and noticed it is missing some really great scaffolding that was present in the Algebra game:
1) Ability to see the moves taken to solve the problem if you get stuck (the hand animation). Interestingly my 9yr daughter frequently chose not to use this when something was tough until she had exhausted all other options, wanting to do it herself. At the moment she is only part way through chapter 3 so she'll need it more in harder levels. It was an important fall back and I myself had to use it a few times on the tougher problems (I've played the game the whole way through as well as B side, and my algebra was very rusty).
I know the Elements section has a tip section that tells you what function to use next but it is not very clear and I got stuck on one problem at hard level where the suggestion was to do something I hadn't learned in the game yet, and it didn't solve the whole problem. I knew the maths of it (could have done it on paper) but not how to get the game to do it. So I had to drop down a level to 'normal' to progress, which isn't great ux design.
2) Having a five star rating system for different levels of "solve" based on efficiency of the problem solving/ number of moves. This really motivated both myself and my 9 yo daughter independently to work at a problem until we got to 5 stars. She had the option to move on but wanted to get full marks at each step before progressing. My process was different: I moved through with any level solve until I got to the end, then I went back and reinforced learning by redoing the problems I had only partial stars in and leveling up to 5 stars. This self paced reinforcement will make the knowledge stick better for both of us, but the motivation/feedback to redo some problems wouldn't have been there without the 5 star system.
I suggest improving Elements by using the same scaffolding as is present in DragonBox12+.
Apart from that - well done on DragonBox Algebra. You've really transcended the industry standard by making these real 'games' like people normally play on an ipad, teaching base mathematical concepts as a visual puzzle first so it is non intimidating, and only slowly introducing the mathematical symbols once they've already 'got' it.
I'm only new to Elements and have not yet shown it to my daughter so will reserve my judgement of it for the moment.