Review of Related Literature

Implementing a Game for Supporting Learning in Mathematics

The paper written by Katmada, Mavridis and Tsiatsos presents the design and development of an online game aimed at facilitating the teaching of elementary and middle school mathematics. Being that math learning difficulties is a common problem among students of all ages, it is important that the students acquire a positive perception of mathematics as it corresponds to a lower math anxiety. According to several mentioned studies, computer games which promote active learning and skill development can favorably affect students’ motivation and learning. The study accordingly addresses the design of a computer game to be utilized by educators as a complementary learning tool to enhance students’ motivation and engagement with the subject.

Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL), as defined in the paper is the combination of digital game-based activities and educational content. As it constitutes a relatively recent and still evolving instructional method, the study realized that there was a need for more empirical evidence that could validate its actual educational value. Several studies have also reported the use of commercial computer games for mathematics, which have demonstrated positive results in the participants’ perception and attitude towards math.

The prototype presented by the paper was designed as a user-friendly, configurable online game for educators to customize through an administration website. It consisted mainly of nine challenges to be filled with questions according to the course material. The main features of the game’s design were as follows: story and characters, goals and rules, opposition elements, interaction and feedback, and configuration options. Although the prototype as a whole was evaluated through a pilot study as well as extensive testing, it should be noted that the individual features were not tested themselves.

The results of the study showed mostly positive results as the game prototype was considered to be a useful and engaging learning tool, which suggested that game-based learning activities are well-accepted and appreciated by students. It was concluded that the particular game could be successfully incorporated and used by educators as a supplementary tool for the teaching of formal curricular material.

The current researchers’ aim is to expand on the discussed paper’s evaluation of their game, specifically towards the impact of certain game elements towards student motivation. The literature has proven to be significantly related as it provides much background and interest for the current case study, as well as references for research on DGBL, mathematics-based computer games and educational game design.

Reference:

Aikaterini Katmada, Apostolos Mavridis and Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos “Implementing a Game for Supporting Learning in Mathematics” The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 12 Issue 3 2014, (230–242)