“DiGraB”, an innovation to help students learn English grammar

By Mohammad Saifullah 

GOMBAK, 16 September 2018: A Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) lecturer has come out with an innovation called Digital Grammar Board (DiGraB) aimed at helping students to learn English grammar through gamification.

This was among the significant projects on display at IUCEL2018 (International University Carnival on E-Learning 2018), held at IIUM Cultural Centre (ICC) from 12 to 13 September where several universities presented their E-Learning innovations.

In an interview with IIUMToday, Mohd Shafeirul Zaman Abd Majid, who is a senior language lecturer of UMP’s Centre for Modern Language & Human Sciences said: “We came up with this idea based on conventional approach in carrying out exercises using both textbook and exercise book, instead now we use gamification.”

“This innovation is a combination of a conventional leather board game. On top of that, we put in the augmented reality when we scan any of the images on board that seek to ask questions. This board is designed in terms of grammatical experiment.”

He added that there are three simple stages in the game. “First, you must download the app called ‘HP Reveal’, then you have to scan the image on board, and it will show a question to answer.”

Mohd Shafeirul said this is applicable for all levels of students where those with hearing problem can read the question on the app, and those with sight problem can listen to the question and answer.

However, according to him, there are three elements of gamification – reward, punishment and challenges.

He added: “The challenge is to finish the three levels and there is a reward after you have answered the question. You then move to the next level. The punishment in the game is when you fail to answer the question and you have to wait until the others move to another level. But don’t worry, the answers are here inboard, you can look for the answer if you do not know.”

The teacher can be the facilitator on the learning process or can appoint any student who is good in English, at the same time this board caters for the element of education 4.0.

He explained further, “As the students are now not highly engaged with conventional books we have designed this board so that it will provide fun with learning, where the good and the weak student can make a team to take up the challenge and win.”

“We designed this gamification with 4.0 learning element in mind,” he emphasised.

Mohd Shafeirul said that one of the important objectives of this gamification is that they wanted to run away from the idea of switching off the space to guide by the side, meaning that the student will enjoy the moment, not only learning the process.

“We want students to use their smartphone in class in a learning process. That’s how we are humanising the technology. Instead of surfing social media during lecture, students can use their smartphone for answering questions.”

“We have conducted a case study with students of Kolej Politeknik Mara Kuantan, and we received positive response. In the experiment, we allowed them to play for only ten minutes, but they wanted to play more than ten minutes, and they were eager to know more. During the process, the teacher will lecture 30 minutes and the rest of the 30 minutes will be activities with DiGraB.”

DiGraB is designed by eight members of the team led by Mohd Shafeirul Zaman Abd Majid, the language teacher, Azwin Arif Abdul Rahim, Mohammad Musab Azmat Ali, Mohd Shafiq Abdul Jabar, Ramzi Ab Rahman, Nor Yazi Hj Khamis, Zuraina Ali and Zetti Adela Zolkepli. ***

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