In June 2014, Edublox reading and learning clinic hosted the FUNtastic Brain Clinic in Singapore. The course was offered in conjunction with a world-class training academy in Asia Pacific.
Results of tests done at the Clinic were analyzed by the Center for Evaluation and Assessment (CEA) at the University of Pretoria and revealed a significant increase in concentration in just five days.
Clinic presented in Asia
The program was presented to 27 students, ages 10 to 12, with an aim to increase cognitive skills and improve reading, spelling and comprehension. In Singapore, Grade 6 students are required to write an exam, and the marks obtained determine which high school they can apply to. Learners who receive higher marks in the exam are accepted at more prestigious high schools in the city. The Clinic was presented in order to help students prepare for this exam.
The program took place over a five-day period, with seven or eight half-hour sessions per day. Students were pre-tested using Cambridge Brain Sciences online tests. Five tests were selected for memory function, concentration and general reasoning abilities.
After testing, trained tutors commenced with Edublox lessons. The students completed a post-test and results were tabulated for evaluation. A control group comprising of 25 students of similar age, gender and ability also completed the pre- and post-tests. This group did not attend the Clinic, but continued to go to school.
Evaluating the data
Flordis South Africa (FSA), distributor of the cognitive enhancing product KeenMind, sponsored evaluation of the data. The results of the pre- and post-tests were analyzed by the CEA in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria.
Results of the study show an improvement in concentration, or on focused attention, in just five days. Focused attention is the ability to selectively concentrate on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. This type of concentration is both physically and mentally tiring. People with attention problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are known for their inability to filter out distractions and focus on one thing only.
Results of Feature Match, a Cambridge Brain Sciences online test designed to assess concentration by showing the respondent two images which at first seem similar but require concentration to identify differences, showed a statistically significant improvement between scores received at pre- and post-testing. On top of that the effect size is large (r = .507), which lies beyond what Professor John Hattie calls the ‘hinge point’ or the ‘desired effects point’ in education.
Feature Match pre-test post-test comparison of experimental and control group
Table 1 below shows the descriptive statistics of the experimental and control group in terms of results for the Feature Match test. The experimental group had a mean of 101.85 for the pre-test and a mean of 132.52 for the post-test. The control group had a mean of 98.80 for the pre-test and 95.04 for the post-test.
Table 2 shows the results for the t-tests of the Feature Match test when comparing the results of the pre-test between the experimental group and the control group and the same for the post-test. For the pre-test there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental group’s mean (M = 101.85, SE = 6.854) and the control groups mean (M = 98.80, SE = 5.192), t(50) = .351, p >.05 and there was no effect size, r = .049.
When comparing the results of the post-test, it can be seen that the experimental group had a higher mean (M = 132.52, SE = 6.177) when compared to the control group (M =95.04, SE = 6.537) and the difference was statistically significant, t(50) = 4.170, p <.05. The results presented a large effect size, r =.507.
Alan Yip, founder of the academy, said he was heartened to note that the FUNtastic Brain Clinic had enabled the students to significantly improve their concentration in five days. “Concentration is fundamental to the development of learning skills,” said Yip. “At Mind Edge we have noticed that over the years, due to the increased distractions in the external environment, students have not achieved their optimal performance. Hence, helping students to improve their concentration on a sustainable basis remains a core objective of our programs.”