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Playfully train writing motor skills

Development of a serious game for support with writing difficulties

Project state


Project start

February 2022

Funding duration

12 months

Universities involved


Practice partners

Funding amount DIZH

CHF 39'000

With a prevalence of 10-30%, writing difficulties are one of the most common learning disorders among schoolchildren. Writing difficulties not only prevent children from adequately demonstrating their knowledge, but also impair their participation and success in the school context. Both study results and experts emphasise the need for innovative interventions that motivate children to practise their writing skills regularly. Serious educational games offer a promising approach to tackling this problem. However, to date there is no serious game to improve children’s graphomotor skills and motivation and to provide teachers with feedback on children’s learning progress.

The interdisciplinary project team, consisting of research groups from the ZHAW, the ZHdK and the PHZH, developed a concept and a playable prototype in which all basic game mechanics were implemented. The game combines different levels of motivation in order to appeal to as many children as possible. It is also language-independent and therefore widely applicable. In an initial playtest with primary school children, this prototype was tested for its comprehensibility and user-friendliness. The results were consistently positive. The children’s feedback on the game will be taken into account in the further development process.

The aim of this research project is to finalise the game prototype and test its effectiveness in a pilot study in the school context. With the proof of effectiveness, practical partners are to be gained for long-term implementation. The game should be made accessible to as many children as possible. The project will also generate transferable knowledge about learning with serious games.


Dr. Annina Zysset, ZHAW Gesundheit

Prof. Dr. Frank Wieber, ZHAW Gesundheit

Prof. Dr. Christina Schulze, ZHAW Gesundheit

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Götz, ZHdK Game Design

Call type: 1. Rapid Action Call