Ten Lessons for Teaching and Learning from Angry Birds
Ten Lessons That
Teachers Can Learn
From Angry Birds
Dr. Bernard Bull
According to some sources, this wildly popular game
had over 1 billion downloads and has over a quarter of
a million active users each month. While it is hard to
argue that this game is educational, there are lessons
that we can glean from the way that the game is
designed. Come explore these lessons and how that
can you increase student learning and engagement in
1. Set a Clear Goal and
Expect 100% Mastery
There is a minimum threshold for “success” on a given level. You must squash
all the pigs. 90% is not passing in this game. You need 100%.
2. Reward Reaching the
Goal with a New
Once you reach 100%, you get to move on to the next level.
3. Allow an Unlimited
Number of Attempts
1. - Even though 100% completion of the task is necessary on each level, you can try as many times as you
like until you reach that goal.
4. Provide the Player/Learner with the
Flexibility of Reaching the Same Goal, but
Using Different Strategies
You can repeat and reach the goal through trial and error, looking for tips online,
learning by looking over the shoulder of a friend or family member, or whatever other
useful strategy comes to mind.
5. Provide Feedback That Goes Beyond Simply
Whether or Not Your Achieved the Baseline
While squashing 100% of the pigs is adequate to move to the next level, that is
not considered a “perfect performance.” In addition to squashing pigs, you can
measure your performance by points and the number of stars that you earn on
a level. So, there are multiple measures of performance that get at different
aspects of your performance. Did you reach the baseline goal? How effective or
efficient were you at reaching this goal? There is a measure for both of these
questions in the game.
6. Blend Repetition with
Novelty & Variety
Every level requires a similar set of
skills, but they are applied in a new
context with new challenges, and
new and interesting
scenes/locations. You also get some
extra “affordances” on different
levels in the form of new bird with
8. Scaffold the Challenges,
but Provide Easy Stages
Each new level (called a theme) provides a new level of difficulty.
Once you clear all the levels (themes) in one world, you move on to a
The new world often starts with some easy challenges again.
9. There is No Final Grade or Diploma,
Just New Challenges that Require you to
Prove Your Skills
10. You Can Replay Any
Once you reach the goal for a theme/level, it remains available to you to replay as often as you want. Even if you
have reached theme/level fourteen of world fourteen, you are free to go back and play theme one of world one or
anything along the way.