A decade into experiments with gamification, edtech rethinks how to motivate learners

By Olina Banerji

Manuj Dhariwal and Shruti Dhariwal, a pair of PhD candidates at MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group, say it all started with a single piece of feedback:

“Just make learning fun.”

Scrawled across a form, the advice came from a group of 12 year olds at a mindfulness retreat hosted at a school near MIT.

“These kids had spent all their free time at the retreat talking about online shooting-based video games,” says Manuj Dhariwal, laughing. Not an ideal conversation right after sessions on mindfulness, but the husband-and-wife researcher duo did take away two key lessons from the students’ candor.

Related Content