General Education

Understanding Wordle: Part Game, Part Learning Aid

4th February 2022 at 2:00am
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Are you seeing a strange new trend on your social media feeds recently? It looks something like this:

These mysterious blocks might seem like pure nonsense at first glance, but show it to a Wordle fan and they’ll tell you a story about overcoming bad luck and winning through pure determination, almost as if they’re reading hieroglyphs or runes.

Confused? Read on and you’ll learn everything you need to know about Wordle, and how this newest internet fad is helping to enrich the lives of people all over the world in more ways than one.

What in the world is Wordle?

Wordle is a simple word game that’s available to play online for free. In this game, players must guess the word of the day, with several rules:

  1. The correct word is always made up of five letters.
  2. Every wrong guess gives you clues about the correct answer:
    • Green letters are present in today’s word and are in the right position.
    • Yellow letters means it’s present in today’s word but in another position.
    • Grey letters don’t appear in the word at all.
  3. You only get six attempts to guess the correct word every day.

Most featured words are common enough to be recognised, with the occasional rare one to amp up the challenge. When you complete the day’s game (whether through guessing correctly or using up all six tries), you’ll get the option to share your results on social media. This is the part where those tidy little yellow and green blocks posted by your friends should begin to make sense.

On the surface, Wordle is a fun little distraction that fits perfectly in those idle slots within your daily routine, but it’s also a neat way to exercise your mind and expand your vocabulary.

Learning and Staying Mentally Sharp through Fun

Wordle is the newest member of a category of puzzle games that include the likes of Scrabble, Sudoku and crossword puzzles, which are usually light on time commitment and are great at giving your brain something to chew on during your downtime. In addition, games like these also offer several benefits, including:

  • Better memory retention
  • Increased concentration
  • Encouraging logical thinking
  • Mood regulation and relaxation

In Wordle’s case, there’s one more advantage being offered: the opportunity to expand and maintain your vocabulary while having fun. Maybe you’ve seen the word ‘proxy’ before and guessed it correctly on Wordle today, or perhaps it’s something that never even showed up on your radar before. In any case, it’ll either cause you to learn a new and unfamiliar word, or jog your memory about its existence. And if you have the time for it, you just might pick up a dictionary to read up about the definition afterwards.

This all falls under the concept of gamification in learning, a topic that was covered in our previous article. The theory proposes that if learning is made more interesting via the use of engaging methods, it’s much easier for students to absorb and retain information than they would otherwise.

In other words, although Wordle might seem like just another casual puzzle game we play from time to time, it might be doing even more good than it seems on the surface. And for that we say: Play on.

Interested to see just how far one can learn with interactive elements? Our range of learning products - GenieSmart, GenieClass and GenieAsk - are all designed to help students learn smarter through engaging activities and a helpful support system. Learn more about them here, or get a hands-on demo by signing up for a Strengths Analysis session.

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