All You Can ET is a game designed to train task shifting (cognitive flexibility), a subskill of executive functions. Shifting involves effectively switching between different tasks, rules, or goals.
In this game, players need to apply frequently changing rules to give differently colored aliens, who have different numbers of eyes, the correct food or drink. As the levels progress, the rules get more complex. To succeed in this game, children must be able to adapt to the new sets of rules, which requires shifting, or cognitive flexibility.
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All You Can ET is part of SMART Suite, a set of games to train executive functions (also including Gwakkamole and CrushStations) that has been developed by the CREATE lab at New York University in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Published, peer-reviewed research with hundreds of students has validated the efficacy of SMART Suite for training executive functions (see bibliography), including the Handbook of Game-Based Learning.
Homer, B. D., Plass, J. L., Raffaele, C., Ober, T. M., & Ali, A. (2018). Improving high school students’ executive functions through digital game play. Computers & Education, 117, 50-58.
Homer, B.D., Ober, T.M., Rose, M.C., MacNamara, A.P., Mayer, R. & Plass, J.L. (2019). Speed Versus Accuracy: Implications of Adolescents’ Neurocognitive Developments in a Digital Game to Train Executive Functions, Mind, Brain & Education, 13(1), 41-52.
Homer, B.D., Plass, J.L., Rose, M.C., MacNamara, A.P., Pawar, S., & Ober, T.M. (2019). Activating adolescents’ “hot” executive functions in a digital game to train cognitive skills: The effects of age and prior abilities. Cognitive Development, 49, 20-32.
Ober, T. M., Brooks, P. J., Plass, J. L., & Homer, B. D. (2019). Distinguishing Direct and Indirect Effects of Executive Functions on Reading Comprehension in Adolescents. Reading Psychology, 40(6), 551–581.
Parong, J., Mayer, R. E., Fiorella, L., MacNamara, A., Homer, B. D., & Plass, J. L. (2017). Learning executive function skills by playing focused video games. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 51, 141-151.
Plass, J. L., Homer, B. D., Pawar, S., Brenner, C., & MacNamara, A.P. (2019). The effect of adaptive difficulty adjustment on the effectiveness of a game to develop executive function skills for learners of different ages. Cognitive Development, 49, 56-67.
Plass, J.L, Homer, B.D., Pawar, S., & Tam, F. (2018). Connecting Theory and Design Through Research: Cognitive Skills Training Games. In S. Göbel et al. (Eds.): Joint Conference on Serious Games 2018, pp. 1–14, 2018. Spring Nature, Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02762-9_15
Plass, J.L., Homer, B.D., MacNamara, A.P., Ober, T., Rose, M.C., Hovey, C.M., Pawar, S., & Olsen, A. (2019). Emotional Design for Digital Games for Learning: The Affective Quality of Expression, Color, Shape, and Dimensionality of Game Characters, Learning and Instruction.
Plass, J.L., Mayer, R. & Homer, B.D. (Eds.) (2020) Handbook of Game-based Learning. MIT Press.
Sirin, S., Plass, J.L., Homer, B.D., Vatanartiran, S. & Tsai, T. (2018). Digital game-based education for Syrian refugee children: Project Hope. Vulnerable Children & Youth Studies, 13(1), 7-18. doi: 10.1080/17450128.2017.1412551
Vacca, R. Bromley, M., Leyrer, J., Sprung, M., & Homer, B.D. (2014). Designing Games for Emotional Health. In Schrier, K. (Ed), Learning, Education, and Games (pp. 123-142). ETC Press.
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