Edith Cowan University
The mathematical skills of primary school students in Australia are not at the level they could be. In order to find a solution to this issue, different theories of skill acquisition were reviewed and the effectiveness of a computer maths game based on the psychological principles of learning identified by the Component Theory of Skill Acquisition was investigated. The participants of the study consisted of 218 year three students from four primary schools in Western Australia. It was hypothesised that participants using the experimental computer game would demonstrate greater improvement in maths skills than the participants in the other conditions. Two measures of improvement were recorded – the participant’s accuracy and the participant’s speed of performance in online pre- and post-tests. A repeated measures multivariate design was used to analyse the data. For both the speed and accuracy of performance, significant main effects were observed between the pre-test and post-test, and between the four conditions under investigation. A significant interaction was also found between the type of test attempted and the condition the participant was assigned to in regards to the speed of performance F (3, 155) = 7.819, p = .000; but not in regards to accuracy. It is thought that the full version of the experimental game had too many features thereby making it too difficult for the students to progress. However, it is thought that the limited version of the experimental game showed promise in improving student achievement in mathematics.