Abstract

Previous studies have shown biofeedback self-regulation helps children positively manage stress and focus their attention on learning tasks, a skill that can translate into significant improvements on standardized test scores. This paper explores the design and use of biofeedback games using Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as a method of focusing student attention and decreasing stress specifically within the classroom space. Semi-structured interviews with educators, as well as classroom observation time, participatory design sessions, and iterative user testing with K-6 students were used to inform the design and development of our biofeedback game CritterQuest. The game offers a tool for K-6 children to gain critical skills in focus, attention and relaxation that have been shown to be important for character development, behavioral management, and learning. Additionally, the three methods used to evaluate the games provide a model for future game development and design within an educational context.

CritterQuest Demo