Improving mastery of fractions by blending video games into the Math classroom
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of Publication
School of Education
Concepts from the Australian mathematics curriculum on fractions were used as core elements to design three computer games. In each game, the concepts were presented in the form of tangible puzzles, customized to a difficulty level based on student capability. The games were integrated into a single virtual game world, and a fantasy story was used to help build a compelling experience. Five Year 6 classes were used to evaluate the game over four weeks. Three of the classes were provided with the games, and two served as a control. Both the intervention and control groups also covered fractions in class as part of the regular teaching program, consisting of instructor led content combined with access to online resources and activities. Participants completed a diagnostic test before the trial, and again at the end, designed to assess competence in the fractions concepts targeted by the game. Results show that on average students who had access to the game in addition to the regular teaching scored higher than control group students. In particular, looking at just students who started with a lower level of fractions skills, greater improvement was seen in those that had access to the game.