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We are glad to write about our new problem-solving missions and improved health-related tasks that take place in the Triumfland city on our digital health platform. Activity-based learning is an important pedagogical approach and we utilize this method in our Triumf health game where kids are getting new knowledge from the educational module and later on need to apply this information in different activities. This post describes how we have achieved this.
Problem-solving skills are very beneficial, no matter whether you're a child or an adult. Some people may have a mindset that all problems can be solved from early on. However, if you don’t have this kind of a mindset, learning that there are certain skills that can help you problem-solve, may be very helpful. And the earlier you learn these skills, the better it is, isn’t it? That’s why we want to help children to first, learn the basics of problem-solving and second, apply those acquired skills in gameplay. Maybe you know from your experience, but sometimes it may be easier to suggest solutions to others’ problems. And this is where some magic in growing your problem-solving skills may happen – by solving others' problems, you may secretly learn about how to (better) solve your own problems as well.
In our health app, kids are given a set of situations during the gameplay involving emotion regulation, self-acceptance, self-efficacy, social situations and problem-solving in general. They need to provide efficient solutions for these situations and report how they would feel in such situations themselves. In case kids are not able to respond correctly, they are given justification why some other solution might be a better option. They are learning problem-solving skills through action. It is very interactive, safe and engaging way of teaching new skills to children.
In addition to problem solving, we have also improved the health information that we provide to children. From the start, the aim of our health app has been to create healthier futures and help children follow a healthy lifestyle. But creating healthy habits can be difficult, especially if the kids are going through a chronic illness treatment that is very burdening on its own.
Having this in mind, we've created more meaningful prompts that include health messages related to healthy eating, hygiene and hydration. During the gameplay, the goal is to collect and distribute apples, water and toothbrushes to Triumfland citizens to keep them healthy. As such, when the player is approached by a citizen in the city, the citizens explain to the player why they require certain elements - e.g. a citizen asks for an apple to swap less healthy snacks, such as chocolate bars, for healthier ones. Therefore, by helping the citizens, children are learning more about healthy behaviours and repetitive exposure to these prompts guides the player to a healthier lifestyle.
Now, we are fully ready to kick off with our randomized controlled trials in Singapore, Helsinki and Tartu!