Review by Kristina Duncan, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2017

Legends of Learning

Large collection of simple games is mostly quantity over quality

Subjects & skills
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Teachers say (9 Reviews)

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Pros: Having many games for each topic allows teachers to make class playlists, and teachers can track the progress of their students.

Cons: Gameplay is often too simplistic and not connected to content, and teachers can't tailor the content questions to fit their instruction.

Bottom Line: Teachers may find reviewing content with the games is fun and simple, but don't expect in-depth games that apply content.

Teachers will best use Legends of Learning as supplemental curriculum, perhaps to reinforce new content or to review before quizzes or tests. The playlist tool is a useful option allowing you to choose games for your classes. You can also assign a simple assessment, as well as include free play time, on the playlist. You can track your kids' progress through the games and see what questions they got incorrect. At this time teachers can't create their own questions for the games; if this feature becomes available in the future, it would be a big plus for teachers wanting to customize the content to the needs of their classes.

Many of the games come with teacher reviews and discussion questions. The reviews can help you see how others used the game and how it was received by students. The discussion questions can help give kids a more meaningful experience than just using the games alone.

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Legends of Learning is a site that offers games covering a variety of content for middle school science. The site covers topics in each main content area, with a variety of games claiming to be NGSS-aligned. The games here aren't meant to teach new content but supplement your instruction. Teachers can select games to put in a playlist for up to an hour and allow time for free play; an assessment can be added to the end of the playlist (but cannot be customized). You are given a certain amount of coins when registering for the site, and each game costs coins per student. More coins can be gained by rating games, referring users, or purchasing them outright. 

What are the games like? Well, that's kind of a hard question to answer, mostly because the type and quality of the games vary widely. Some games come with colorful graphics and wacky characters, while some have music or robot voice-overs. Others will remind you of early '80s video games (think Atari). Most games review content through a series of multiple-choice questions that pop up before you can make your next move; others are memory games, simulations, or interactive diagrams.

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You are bound to find something related to what you're teaching on Legends of Learning. All topics include several games each, allowing you to choose the ones you like best. Many of the content questions seem to be repeated across games for the same topic, so kids may not experience new questions just by playing another game.

Overall, the quality of many games is a bit underwhelming and not related to NGSS practices. In most cases, the actual game has little application of the content, and the format is very repetitive: you play the game for a bit, pause to answer questions, then continue playing the game. The questions themselves could use support for visual and English-language learners since they're very text-heavy. Also, when kids answer incorrectly, they receive no feedback other than the correct answer. Will middle schoolers like these games? Maybe they will, since it's more fun than doing a worksheet, but for deep and meaningful learning look elsewhere.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids will initially be engaged because they get to play games, but they're repetitive, so interest may wane. The quality of the games vary; students will enjoy the colorful graphics of some and find others much less thrilling.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Most games and content are unrelated and have kids answer questions while gameplay is paused. The games rely on memorization of facts instead of application of content.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Some games include instructions, tutorials, and built-in content review, but many aren't intuitive and have text-heavy questions. Kids would benefit from more feedback when they get incorrect answers. 

Common Sense Reviewer
Kristina Duncan Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 9 reviews) (9 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
April T. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
North Carroll Middle School
Hampstead, MD
Become a legend to your students- make teaching fun with Legends of Learning!

Legends of Learning is a good teaching tool. I like how engaged kids are when they are playing. I like the ease of use of the teacher dashboard for keeping track of student progress and on-task behavior. I think it serves the students of today because it's teaching them in their sweet spot- technology-based acquisition of information in a fun and entertaining way. It's almost like tricking them into learning!
The only drawback in my opinion are some of the technology glitches- the program will only run with certain web browsers and can be difficult to load at times. I would love to see the LOL platform eventually available on personal devices.

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