Online Educational Games’ Effects on Learning ?· Online Educational Games’ Effects on Learning…

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  • OnlineEducationalGamesEffectsonLearning

    KevinMann,EmilyMiller,MichaelNotkin

    Advisor:CristinaHeffernan

    1

  • IntroductionContentSelection

    CommonCoreStateStandards(CCSS)FindingGames

    ProcedureProblems

    MakingProblemSetsProcedureProblems

    GameSelectionGameCategories

    GameChoices:2.NBT.A.3:

    CookieDoughPlaceValueFootballMathScooterQuest

    3.NBT.A.1:RoundingSpaceshipsRoundingSharks

    4.NF.A.2:BalloonPopTugTeam

    4.NBT.A.3:RoundingSpaceshipsRoundingMaster

    5.NBT.A.3a:FootballMathScooterQuestSoccerMath

    5.NF.A.1:FractionDolphinBaseballMath

    5.NBT.A.4:BaseballMath

    6.NS.B.4:WhoWantstobeaMillionaireFruitShoot

    HypothesisExperimentDescriptions

    SelectedGameCategoriesRecruitmentResults

    2

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  • StudentParticipationStudyTestResults

    ConclusionProblemSet73534ProblemSet81944

    FurtherStudyAppendices

    Introduction

    Makemathfun!Butdogamesreallyhelp?

    Mathisgenerallyadifficultsubjectforstudentstolearn.Itisgenerallyboringanduninterestingforchildrenanddiscouragesthemfromlearning.Thatiswhyacommonissueineducationismakingmathmorefun.Tosolvethisissue,peoplecreatemathgames.Unfortunately,notallthegamesachievetheirgoal.

    Alargeproblemwitheducationisthatitisunclearwhatstudentsneedtolearneveryyearinschool.Thatiswhyinanefforttostandardizethecurriculum,theCommonCoreStateStandards(CCSS)weredeveloped.Thesestandardsaresetupsothateverystudentlearnsthesamethingsinthesamegraderegardlessofschool.Wespecificallylookedatthestandardsformathforelementaryschoolchildren.

    Ourstudyisinvestigatinghowstudentslearnthroughgames.WehaveputtogetherstudiesbasedaroundadifferentCCSSeachstudycontainstwogamesthatwewillcompare,toseewhatelementsofagamehaveagreaterimpactonlearning.

    Thestudywasconductedintwosegments.First,studentsweregivenacorrespondingproblemsettodoeitherinclassorathome.Theproblemsetsincludedafewrelevantquestions,beforegivingthestudentsaneducationalgametoplayrelatingtothemaththattheyarelearninginschool(numbertheory,numbersense,etc.).Halfofthestudentswouldplayonegame,whiletheotherhalfplayedasecond.Thegamewasfollowedbyquestionssimilartothoseinthefirsthalfoftheproblemset.

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  • ContentSelectionTheCommonCoreStateStandardsprovideaconsistent,clearunderstandingofwhatstudentsareexpectedtolearn,soteachersandparentsknowwhattheyneedtodotohelpthem.Thestandardsaredesignedtoberobustandrelevanttotherealworld,reflectingtheknowledgeandskillsthatouryoungpeopleneedforsuccessincollegeandcareers.WithAmericanstudentsfullypreparedforthefuture,ourcommunitieswillbebestpositionedtocompetesuccessfullyintheglobaleconomy(corestandards.org)

    TheCommonCoreStateStandardsInitiativeisastateledeffortcoordinatedbytheNationalGovernorsAssociationCenterforBestPractices(NGACenter)andtheCouncilofChiefStateSchoolOfficers(CCSSO)(http://www.corestandards.org/aboutthestandards).Thestandardswereformedtoprovideacommonlevelofeducationforallchildren.Eachgradelevelbuildsuponthepreviousgrades,sostudentswillalwayslearnskillsinorder,andneverhavetorelearnorlearnskillsquickly.Theyalsoaddresswhatstudentsareexpectedtolearnbythetimetheyhavegraduatedhighschool.Theyensurethatstudentsmakeprogresseachyearandgraduateappropriatelyontime.

    ThefollowingisthelistofMathstandardsthatwehaveusedinourstudy.Thefirstnumberindicatesthegradethestandardistaughtat,thenextsetoflettersindicatesthenameoftheskill,andthelastletterandnumberindicatetheordertheskillsshouldbetaughtin.

    Table1:CommonCoreStateStandards(CCSS)

    Standard Skill Description

    2.NBT.A.3 NumbersandOperationsinBaseTen

    Readandwritenumbersto1,000usingbasetennumerals,numbernames,andexpandedform.

    3.NBT.A.1 NumbersandOperationsinBaseTen

    Useplacevalueunderstandingtoroundwholenumberstothenearest10or100.

    4.NF.A.2 NumbersandOperationsFractions

    Comparetwofractionswithdifferentnumeratorsanddifferentdenominatorsbycreatingcommondenominatorsornumeratorsorbycomparingtoabenchmarkfractionsuchas

    4

  • .

    4.NBT.A.3 NumbersandOperationsinBaseTen

    Useplacevalueunderstandingtoroundmultidigitwholenumberstoanyplace.

    5.NF.A.1 NumbersandOperationsFractions

    Addandsubtractfractionswithunlikedenominatorsbyreplacinggivenfractionswithequivalentfractionsinsuchawayastoproduceanequivalentsumordifferenceoffractionswithlikedenominators.

    5.NBT.A.3a NumbersandOperationsinBaseTen

    Readandwritenumberstothethousandthsusingbasetennumerals,numbernames,andexpandedform.

    5.NBT.A.4 NumbersandOperationsinBaseTen

    Useplacevalueunderstandingtorounddecimalstoanyplace.

    6.NS.B.4 TheNumberSystem Findthegreatestcommonfactoroftwowholenumberslessthanorequalto100andtheleastcommonmultipleoftwowholenumberslessthanorequalto12.Usethedistributivepropertytoexpressasumoftwowholenumbers1100withacommonfactorasamultipleofasumoftwowholenumberswithnocommonfactor

    FindingGames

    5

  • Procedure

    Tostarttheproject,weneededtosearchforonlinegamesforthestudentstoplay.AfterselectingtheCommonCoreStandardsthatwedecidedtofocuson,webeganoursearchbylookingforanygamesthatwererelatedtothesubjectmatter,whetherornottheytaughttheexactskillthatwasoutlinedbytheStandard.Whenlookingforthesegames,wehadtoconsiderthetechnologythatstudentsandteacherswouldhavetorunourstudiesashomeworkonaninclassassignment.Wecouldnothaveteachersturnawayourstudybecausetheycouldntrunthestudyorbecauseitwouldcosttoomuchtogetthetechnologyrequired.Thegameswouldhavetobefreetoplay,andrequirelittleonthepartoftheuserasidefrommaybedownloadingFlashplayerorAdobe.Wedecidedtofocusoncomputergames,specificallyonesthatcouldbeplayedinanyinternetbrowser,anddidnotcostanymoneyorrequiremembershiptoplay.

    Fromthissearch,wecompiledtwolists:onethatcontainedgamesrelevanttoourstandardsandonethatcontainedalistofwebsitesthathostedthesegames.Thelistofwebsites(foundinAppendixC)containedthehomepageofgamingwebsitesthatwefoundalongwithournotesaboutit.Whensomeoneinthegroupfoundagameofvalueonawebsite,ifitseemedthatthesitecouldbehelpfultotheothers,westoreditonthisworksheet.Thislistwasusedtominimizesearchingtheentireinternetforgameswhenwealreadyhadresourcesavailable.Thelistofgameswasmuchmoredetailed.Ourfinallist(AppendixC)containedover90games,withnotesabouteachgamesothatlaterwewouldbeabletoquicklylookthroughthelistandrememberthegamewehadlookedat.Forthislist,weneededtorecordtheobvious:whatCommonCoreStateStandardthegamewasrelatedto,andtheURLthatwecouldaccessthegameat.Wefoundthatsomegames,althoughrelatedtothesameStandard,taughtslightlydifferentmaterial.Forexample,iftheStandardwasaboutteachingstudentsplacevalue,somegamestaughtroundingandshowedthesewordswhileothersaskedstudentsdirectlytowritethenumberinwrittenform.SoinadditiontotheStandard,wecreatedacolumntoindicatewhatskillsittaught.Wealsoneededtomakenoteofthetechnicalrequirements,specificallyiftherewasanydownloadrequired,orvideoaspartofthegame.Wehadacolumnforbothnotesandcomments,towritedownanythingwethoughtcouldbeusefulwhenlookingoverthegames.Thenotesboxwouldgivefactualinformationaboutwhatthegamewaslike,andthecommentswouldbeouropinionsonthegames.Finally,wehadacolumncalledcategories,whichweusedtodescribethegames.Ourlistofcategorieswaschosenasdifferentgameaspectsthatwerecommoninthegameswefound,andonesthatwethoughtwereimportanttoconsiderinteachinggames.Thesecategoriesaredescribedbelow,intheGameSelectionheading.

    Problems

    ItisnthardtosearchformathgamesonGoogleandfindsomeactivitythatisgamelikeandissomehowrelatedtomathematics.However,findingsomethingthatcanbeconsideredaneducationalgametoteachaspecificmathematicsskillisdifficult.

    Eventhoughitissimpletomakeorfindamathrelatedgame,thereisawidevarietyof

    6

  • topicsthatcanbecovered.TheCommonCoreStateStandardsthatweusedforthisstudyrangedfromsecondgradelevelmathtoseventhgradelevelmath.Manyofthegamesouttherefocusonsimplemath,suchasadditionandsubtraction.Gamesthatuseproportionstosolvemultistepproblems,however,arelesscommon.Duringoursearch,weneededtosortthroughthehundredsofmathgamesthatwerenotrelevanttousandseekouttheonesthatpertainedtotheStandardswehadchosen.Thedifficultyoffindingrelevantgameswaslikelyduetoourrestrictionofthegamesbeingfree.Thereareeducationalprogramsthatcovermanytopicsinmathematics,butthoseprogramsaresoldinstores,notputonlineforfree.Thegamesthatareputonlinetendtobesimplerandmadeinmuchlesstime.

    MakingProblemSets

    Procedure

    AfterwewereassignedaCCSS,andhadfoundthegamesforit,wethenhadtocreatetheproblemset.Todothis,wehadtosortthroughtheexistingassistmentsproblemsets,andfindsomethatwererelatedtoourCCSS.Ifwecouldntfindany,wehadtocreateourownvariablizedtemplates.Thenwecreatedanewproblemsetwithafewinstancesoftheexistingproblemsetbeforethegamesandafewmoreinstancesofitafterthegames.Wealsosetthegamestorandomlygenerateoneortheotherwhenthepersonaccessedtheproblemset.Thisway,eachpersonreceivedthesamepreandposttests,butarandomgame.

    ProblemsTherewerequiteafewproblemswithcreatingtheproblemsets.Thefirstisthatwhile

    theCCSSisagoodwaytosortmathskills,itisnew,andthecategoriesareshifting.Evenintheperiodthatwewerecreatingourexperiments,thecategorieschanged.Becauseofthis,noneofthepreviouslyexistingproblemsetswasmadetofollowtheCCSS.WehadtoidentifytheskillintheCCSS,andtrytofindamatchingproblemset.ThenwehadtomakesurethattheproblemsetwasatthegradelevelthatourCCSSwas.Wealsohadtechnicaldifficultieswithafewofthevariablizedtemplatesinassistments.Soifwefoundaproblemsetthatmatched,westillhadnoideaifwecoulduseitintheexperiment.Thispartoftheexperimentinvolvedalotoftrialanderror,andalotoftesting.

    GameSelection

    7

  • Whatisagame?Thisquestionhasbeendebatedsinceithasbecomerecognizedasafieldofstudy.Onecommonlyaccepteddefinitionexplainsthatgamesareaformofplaythatisstructuredwithrules.Inthisdefinition,playisdescribedasanysortofactivitythatsomeoneengagesinforenjoyment.Forourstudy,wenarrowedthecategoryofgamestoeducationalgames:oneswiththeintentofteachingsomesubjectmattertotheplayer.

    Whensearchingforgamestouseinourstudy,wewerenotonlylookingforgamesthatwereabouttherequiredsubjectmatter,butneededtolookforapairofgamesthatweresimilarandcomplimentedeachotherbybeingslightlydifferent.Withgamesthatweremostlysimilar,wewouldbeabletoisolatedifferentaspectsofthegamestoseeiftherewasanydifferencebetweenthetwogroupsofstudents.

    Wedecidedtocategorizethembasedonseveralattributesthatwefoundtobecommon,listedbelow.

    Table2:GameCategories

    ChooseDifficulty Gamesinwhichstudentscanchoosetheirdifficulty.

    PointSystem Playersearnpointsinthegame.

    ImmediateFeedback Thegametellstheplayerwhetherornottheyhaveansweredcorrectly.

    Simulation Anactivitythatshowsamode...