GameLet is a training program for reading fluency with the specific aim to foster struggling readers improve their reading fluency by means of a multilingual, gamified, media-based approach (Becker & Nicholson, 2016). Developed in a research and development project, GameLet (Gamified, media-based training of reading fluency), was funded by Erasmus+ (2018-2021).
At the center of the gamified learning scenario is the audio production of a story. In order to do this, students need to improve their reading skills in both their L1 and L2. Working on the audio production alone entails play time and challenging activities related not only to the acquisition of adequate reading fluency, but also cooperation among their team members (Kutzelmann et al., 2017). Dedicated software empowers students to train their reading fluency and create a podcast production. Increasing reading fluency practice is aimed at by means of media-supported individual and cooperative learning phases with various reading training methods (NICHD, 2000), the application of playful learning scenarios and materials, and interactive elements. While playing, learners work through required learning steps to successfully complete their audio productions. Furthermore, the story fosters identification with the learning activities. The software is web-based and developed via Design-Based Research (DBR) (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012) and user-centered (Norman & Draper, 1986) approaches.
The GameLet project was carried out by four universities: University of Education Weingarten (Germany), University Rhein-Waal (Germany), University do Minho (Portugal), Open University of Cyprus (Cyprus) and the Ministry of Education Cyprus. In addition, various cooperating classes at each of the partner countries participated in the project. Information about the project and its numerous materials may be downloaded from the project website (https://www.gamelet.eu/).
This handbook gives teachers an overview of the GameLet environment. First, it introduces the goals of GameLet and familiarises teachers with the concepts of reading fluency and gamification that apply to the GameLet environment. Secondly, teachers are given guidance and information on how to use GameLet in the classroom, e.g. the equipment and technological tools required, how to create a course, how to enrol students and how to form groups, etc. However, the most comprehensive part of the handbook describes the missions, the games and purpose of each.
The Gamelet system would not have been possible without Sophia Ioannou Georgiou, Soteris Kamiotis, Georgia Lardou and Nikoleta Yiannoutsou. The Gamelet team sincerely thanks Sabrina Gerland, Ute Mehner, Marianna Prodromou, and Georgia Panayidou for their contribution to the success of the project.
In addition, we would also like to thank the research departments, the deanships, rectorates and presidiums of our universities and schools.
We would especially like to thank the teachers who were committed to testing GamLet in their schools at various stages of development, who gave us detailed and qualified feedback on it: Rosa Carvalho, Irene Temete, Ana Teixeira, José Braga, Stefanie Arnold, and Jenny Kohler.
Above all, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the students who worked with us as assistants or as part of their qualification projects in GameLet: Julian Akermann, Annika Auch, Louisa Bader, Annika Bauser, Marius Fiseli, Johannes Franzen, Sven Hoffmann, Anna Kiani, Aliena Kruse, Franziska Landerer, Elena Messemer, Rami Mezghani, Martina Michel, Dunja Mehler, Nora Nickolaus, Tsitsos Panagiotis, Rameya Raveendrakumar, Nadine Schneider, Miriam Schönenberg, Jennifer Sprießler, David Thien, Anna Waibel, Lucia Zeutzheim, and Andre Zube.