In the field of educational applications (apps), the focus has shifted from mere functionality to creating enjoyable and beneficial learning experiences for children. A recently published article sheds light on the influence of redesigning a mobile learning activity in an app to enhance its appeal and usefulness to young learners. By exploring the relationship between children’s enjoyment, intention to use and the incorporation of emojis, this study provides valuable insights into optimizing educational apps.
The study involved 103 children aged 9 to 14 years, who participated in a 27-day exploration of a mobile learning app. The objective was to determine how different learning activities influenced children’s intention to use the app. The researchers revamped a traditional learning activity, replacing it with an emoji-based representation of learning plans. Two other standard activities involved re-reading or reassembling the words of the plan.
The study’s findings revealed that children found the redesigned emoji activity to be the most enjoyable among the three app-based learning activities. The level of enjoyment experienced by the children significantly influenced their intention to continue using the app. This suggests that creating enjoyable learning experiences is crucial to foster a sustained engagement and usage of educational apps.
One groundbreaking aspect of this study was the integration of emojis as a means to represent the meaning of learning plans. Emojis have become an integral part of modern communication, particularly for younger generations. The research demonstrated that incorporating emojis into the learning process not only increased enjoyment but also positively impacted children’s intention to use the app. This highlights the potential of emojis to enhance engagement and promote meaningful learning experiences.
The study’s findings hold vital implications for both educators and developers of educational apps. By making enjoyment a priority, developers can design activities that keep a hold of children’s interests and create a positive learning environment. The usage of emojis demonstrates how a simple visual element can significantly boost engagement and enjoyment in learning activities. Educators can harness the power of emojis to generate interactive and fun learning experiences that promote curiosity, motivation and a love for learning.
Amaefule, C.O., Breitwieser, J., Biedermann, D., Nobbe, L., Drachsler, H. & Brod, G. (2023). Fostering children’s acceptance of educational apps: The importance of designing enjoyable learning activities. British Journal of Educational Technology, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13314