05 September 2011
The online game is powered by sound recognition.
Experts at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have helped develop a groundbreaking online game for the BBC, aimed at pre-schoolers.
Sing-a-long has just gone live on Cbeebies website, fronted by the children channel’s top presenters.
It does not need a keyboard or mouse as the game works by volume recognition alone, making it easier for younger players at different stages of development, including those with special educational needs, to enjoy.
GCU researchers were approached by Numiko, an award-winning digital agency, to work with them on the Sing-a-long game, a presenter-led interactive musical activity based around nursery rhymes and action songs.
As the child interacts with the song, they are rewarded with onscreen animations and prizes. The words also appear on screen as the child sings along, to help with early stage literacy. To start the game, they have to shout “Wake up, cow!”.
The game was tested at GCU’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the eMotion lab and using the latest eye-tracker technology.
Researchers also took the game to three Glasgow pre-schools – the university’s on-campus nursery and also Milton Community Nursery and Drumchapel Nursery that work with the university’s Caledonian Club – and let 42 children aged between four and five loose on it, to evaluate ease of use, level of enjoyment and potential effect on health and wellbeing.
Dr Gianna Cassidy, music psychologist and creative technology lecturer, was principal investigator on the project accompanied by a team of game designers, music psychologists and developmental psychologists across the University.
Dr Cassidy said: “At GCU we provide unique expertise in design, evaluation and research of interacting with technology, and the processes and outcomes of music-making across learning and lifespan. Music and technology can be powerful tools to support and enrich learning and wider health and wellbeing.”