A1 Journal article – refereed
Effects of a mathematics game-based learning environment on primary school students' adaptive number knowledge

List of Authors: Boglárka Brezovszky, Jake McMullen, Koen Veermans, Minna M. Hannula-Sormunen, Gabriela Rodríguez-Aflecht, Nonmanut Pongsakdi, Eero Laakkonen, Erno Lehtinen
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Computers and Education
Journal name in source: COMPUTERS & EDUCATION
Journal acronym: COMPUT EDUC
Volume number: 128
Number of pages: 12
ISSN: 0360-1315
eISSN: 1873-782X

Developing adaptive expertise with arithmetic problem solving is a much desired aim of primary school mathematics education. However, there are very few practical tools for teachers that would aid reaching this complex mathematical learning goal. The aim of the present study was to test the effects of a game-based learning environment in supporting primary school students' adaptive number knowledge and related arithmetic skills. Participants were 1168 students in grades four, five, and six. Classes were randomized in two conditions: in the experimental group regular mathematics teaching was enriched with gameplay using the Number Navigation Game (NNG), and in the control group students continued according to their regular math curriculum. An experimental design with pre- and post-test was used to measure students' adaptive number knowledge, arithmetic fluency, and pre-algebra knowledge. Overall, results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on adaptive number knowledge and math fluency. Results showed varying effects of the training in different grade levels, with more pronounced improvement of students' adaptive number knowledge in grade five. Game performance was related to the experimental group's post-test scores even after controlling for pre-test scores and grade. Results suggest that the NNG is effective in enhancing different types of arithmetic skills and knowledge in different grades of primary school education and can provide teachers with a practical and flexible tool to extend their regular classroom practice.

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Last updated on 2019-01-04 at 15:07