PRESS RELEASE

GlassLab’s Newest Game, Ratio Rancher, Helps Students Make Significant Learning Gains after Just Three Days of Gameplay





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Contact:
Izzy Forman/ izzy@izzyforman.com 917/653/4613
Jacob Berkman jacob.berkman@gmail.com 646/326/6553

GlassLab’s Newest Game, Ratio Rancher, Helps Students Make Significant Learning Gains after Just Three Days of Gameplay

Ratio Rancher, a new game for Chromebooks/browsers, tackles ratios and proportional reasoning — fundamental concepts upon which 42 percent of middle and high school math are based.

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. MAY 22, 2015 – GlassLab, the nonprofit learning company behind SimCityEDU and Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy — today released Ratio Rancher, an original classroom strategy game designed to teach the fundamentals of ratios to 6-12 graders. Pre-release field testing showed that the game can teach in a matter of days concepts that normally take students months to grasp.

Approximately 42 percent of middle school and high school math is dependent upon mastering the fundamental concept of ratios. Yet, according to the Nation’s Report Card, students struggle with the concept. Ratio and proportion questions make up 21% of the total math items on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam, and on average students can answer fewer than half of these questions correctly.

Designed for Chromebooks, Ratio Rancher helps students develop a conceptual understanding of ratios and proportions through interactive situations where they have to apply their knowledge in a fun and engaging way.

Ratio Rancher places students on the fantasy planet of Mixia in charge of their very own lush, green world full of silly, exotic creatures. Everything on the planet is connected, and in order to keep their creatures happy and alive, students need to use ratios to make careful decisions based upon how many creatures they have and what kind of food they can eat. While playing, students gain insights into scaling variables and calculating complex ratios and proportions through use of arrays presented in the form of feeding pens. In addition, they are empowered to develop 21st century skills, like problem solving and critical thinking.

As with all games on GlassLab Games, Ratio Rancher also comes with real-time reports that track student learning and progress that can further inform classroom instruction.

Before its release this spring, 16 high school, middle school and elementary school teachers from across four states used Ratio Rancher their classrooms. More than 400 students were given a pre-test based on the NAEP, PARCC and SBAC exams. They played the game for three 40-minute sessions over three days and took a post exam. No additional instruction was offered beyond what is in the game itself, and students showed statistically significant learning gains that typically take months or years to achieve.

“We’ve repeatedly heard from teachers that they need a tool that can teach ratios because students simply cannot excel in math without fully understanding how they work and how they are applied,” GlassLab’s Executive Director, Jessica Lindl, said. “Ratio Rancher isolates this skill and engages students in an imagination- inspiring world in which they must use ratios practically. And our early testing shows that this will be a powerful and accessible classroom tool.”

An independent non-profit, GlassLab was formed out of a groundbreaking collaboration between the Entertainment Software Association, Electronic Arts, the Institute of Play, and learning experts from Educational Testing Service and Pearson’s Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning, among others.

Established in 2012 with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GlassLab researches and develops digital game-based learning and assessment tools that engage students in innovative ways and reinforce the core skills deemed critical by states for college and the 21st century workplace.

Previously, GlassLab released SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge! and Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy, the first of a new generation of educational games built to meet the needs of today’s students and teachers by creating dynamic new game-based tools that make the most of classroom technology and engage students while providing teachers with real-time assessments of Common Core skills that they can trust for guiding instruction.

Glasslab’s team draws on the talents of a world-class group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Most come from commercial game development, educational technology, or academic research in learning and assessment, and all share a passion for doing work that improves learning outcomes while maintaining a high level of student engagement.

GlassLab recently launched GlassLab Services, through which it works extensively with third-party game designers to help them build commercial quality games for the classroom that demonstrate real learning, and GlassLab Games, an online portal that hosts best in class educational games and teacher resources to help teachers incorporate games into their lesson plans.

For more information about Ratio Rancher, and GlassLab Services, please visit glasslabgames.org. To speak with Jessica Lindl or any of GlassLab’s beta partners, please contact Jacob Berkman at jacob.berkman@gmail.com or Izzy Forman at izzy@izzyforman.com.

About GlassLab
GlassLab brings together leaders in commercial games and experts in learning and assessment to develop next generation digital games and interactive experiences that make learning visible. Our products and services are designed to deliver proven learning impact and reach youth in schools, informal learning environments, and at home. The Lab represents a groundbreaking collaboration between Educational Testing Service, Electronic Arts, the Entertainment Software Association, Institute of Play, Pearson’s Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning, Zynga.org and others. GlassLab is made possible through the generous support of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


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