Digital Game-Based Learning

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The literature reveals that conventional Science teaching techniques teacher-centered lecture and teaching , which foster rote learning among students, are one of the major concerns in Pakistan Education system. This leads to student disengagement in science lessons eventually resulting in student absenteeism and dropouts from the schools.

This study consisted of five stages: 1 examining the impact of Digital Game-Based Learning DGBL and gamification on engagement, learning and gender difference, and literature related to using DGBL models for instructional design; 2 planning learning activities and developing a GBL application based on a specific content in Science; 3 conducting an intervention with a sample of 72 participants of 8th grade aged in a low cost private school of Pakistan following quasi-experimental research framework; 4 observing behaviour and emotions of the participants during science lessons; 5 conducting pre and post tests to assess the learning outcomes of participants followed by focus groups discussion.

However, GBL application was not equally effective for all students since girls outperformed boys in terms of engagement and learning outcomes. This study gives insights into the development of better educational games to promote student learning. This finding became apparent when combined with our analysis of the academic background of the authors. In total, 71 authors wrote the 33 research articles analyzed in this study. The academic background of each author that was available online, such as their terminal degree and current affiliation, was investigated.

After the investigation, it was found that more than half of the authors 38 out of 71 were identified as experts in the field of educational technology and computer science including engineering , 22 and 16, respectively Figure 3.


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Therefore, considering the combined findings from the analysis of the journals and the authors' profile, it can be said that DGBL research has just started to get attention from the experts in the field of mathematics education. Regarding the research methods, quantitative and mixed methods were used in most of the studies 30 out of 33 , as shown in Figure 5. Since DGBL is still new compared to other learning methods using technologies e. It may explain why quantitative and mixed methods were used for examining the effects of new media on mathematics learning. Figure 6 shows the countries in which the 33 research articles reviewed in this study have been conducted.

More than half of the studies 18 studies were conducted in the countries using English as their primary language United States, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. As described in the method section, only studies written in English were considered for our research. Nevertheless, it seems evident that the use of DGBL for mathematics learning has become an international topic.

If we had included studies written in other languages, the map showing the proportion of other countries would be entirely different from the map in Figure 6. Countries where the studies were conducted. However, it was not possible to analyze all the participant's grade by grade because some studies did not indicate the number of subjects by grade levels, or they recruited their subjects from more than two grades and then reported the total number of the subjects.

Therefore, it was only possible to sort the number of studies by the school level of the participants: elementary school, middle school, etc. Number of studies sorted by the participants' grade level. Two studies were counted double due to the subjects of the studies were varied from elementary to middle school students. The primary goal of all studies selected for our review was to know how DGBL affects mathematics students' achievement.

The research studies had their mathematics content, which was empirically measured to examine the effects of DGBL. However, the content students can learn via DGBL varies from simply counting numbers to conducting complex mathematical calculations.

Features of Digital Game Based Learning: Learning Sciences Resource Guide

The following mathematics topics were found in the DGBL research reviewed: number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, statistics, and probability. Number of studies by the five content standards for pre—K—12 mathematics. Five research studies focused on more than one mathematics content, and so such studies were counted repeatedly in this analysis.

Weighted effect size for overall studies was calculated to examine the overall effects of DGBL on students' mathematics proficiency, as described previously in the method section.

Table 4 presents the number of participants in the experimental group and the calculated effect size d of each research study. As shown in Table 4, however, several studies had more than one group in experimental conditions.

How Digital Game-Based Learning Improves Student Success

In these cases, if the subgroup can be regarded as an independent experimental group, the set of data yielded by the subgroup was included for calculating overall effect size. Therefore, we regarded each subgroup as an independent experimental group, the data set from each group was treated as an independent value, the effect size of each subgroup was obtained respectively for calculating overall weighted effect size. Likewise, for all the studies that fall into the same situation. The effect size of each subgroup was calculated respectively and included as an independent value in our calculation of overall weighted effect size.

From the number of participants in experimental group n and calculated effect size of each research study d , the obtained overall weighted effect size was 0. The main questions of this study were a What is the current trend of DGBL research in mathematics education? In this section, we first summarize the findings through answering those questions and then suggest future directions for DGBL studies in the field of mathematics education.

Based on the findings described in the previous section, the current trend of DGBL study in mathematics learning can be summarized as follows: Research using empirical data to evaluate the effects of DGBL for mathematics achievement has been continuously increasing since Considering the field of journals where DGBL studies have been published and the expertise of the authors, DGBL studies have been conducted predominantly in the field of educational technology.

Using digital games for mathematics learning has become an international topic. Research into the effects of DGBL focused mainly on students' learning number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability NCTM, The overall weighted effect size, which was calculated to examine the impact of DGBL on learning mathematics, was 0. Regarding the value of effect size d , Cohen provided criteria to evaluate the value of d. According to his criteria, d smaller than 0. This result implies that there may be other ways for students to learn mathematics more effectively than DGBL, although the DGBL studies have shown statistically positive effects on students' learning mathematics.

From the findings, several new directions for the future of DGBL research in mathematics education became apparent. First of all, more empirical studies are needed. Compared to the number of the studies in total, articles published from January to October , only 33 research studies could be identified as using empirical data. In other words, although interest in using digital games for mathematics learning has consistently increased, there have been relatively few attempts to examine their effectiveness empirically.

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It is problematic because integrating new media into any educational settings without a thorough examination of their effects may turn out to be a mere waste of time and resources. Thus, if more empirical research is conducted, mathematics educators would have better criteria upon which to base their decision to use digital games for their K—12 students. Second, more experts in mathematics learning should be involved in the DGBL research. As reported in the finding section, 71 authors participated in the DGBL research reviewed in this study.

However, a very low portion of authors had a background in mathematics education i. Of course, research conducted by a group of people in one field may significantly contribute to other fields, and such interdisciplinary exchanges are necessary to make academic progression. Third, the effects of DGBL should be examined with broader mathematics content. To date, the effects of DGBL on mathematics learning have been heavily examined in teaching and learning in the areas of number and operations and algebra.

The possible reason for this trend could be participants' grade levels and the expertise of the researchers. It may be that the majority of the participants in the DGBL studies were elementary school students, and very few experts in mathematics learning were involved in the studies. Therefore, we support expanding DGBL studies into other mathematics content areas, such as geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability.

This may be achieved by including more advanced i. Through efforts like these, mathematics educators could be better informed when making the decision to use digital games for teaching in every mathematics content area. Fourth, it seems necessary to redefine the term DGBL in more rigorous ways. In the research studies reviewed in this article, the term DGBL was defined in various ways, such as computer simulation, game making activity, or even gamification. This phenomenon has broadened the definition of DGBL defined by Prensky , who invented the term.

According to him, DGBL means any learning activity using digital games. With this definition, digital games do not have to have an educational purpose or yield the desired learning outcomes. This broad definition might expand the quantity of research, but a more precise definition will increase the quality of the research. Finally, it is necessary to verify the effectiveness of the various genres of digital games available for mathematics learning. In other words, although such digital games have some of the main features of games e.

Therefore, it would be worthwhile to investigate how other genres of games can be used in mathematics learning and researching the effects of such games. If we can make and examine the effectiveness of such games, it would be a significant advancement on integrating digital games into the field of mathematics education. In addition to the needs listed above, there is one other that should be considered when conducting DGBL studies in the future: mathematical proficiency. Kilpatrick, Swafford, and Findell broke down the mathematical proficiency into the following five strands: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition.

However, most of the DGBL research studies reviewed in this study have neither investigated nor discussed the mathematical proficiency benefits of playing digital games. While reviewing the previous studies, we found that most of the games used in DGBL studies were related to procedural fluency only. Considering the importance of mathematical proficiency in mathematics learning, it also seems necessary to investigate how students could improve their mathematical proficiency through digital games.

One possible example would be to develop a digital game that contains a particular mathematical concept and then to investigate how the game can affect students' conceptual understanding. From our perspective, it seems evident that further DGBL research dealing with the five proficiencies would significantly contribute to the field of mathematics education. How can we make our students learn better? Teachers ask themselves this question daily. DGBL has been considered one answer.

Because of this, teachers have tried using digital games for educational purposes with various levels of success, including teachers in the field of mathematics education. For the past 14 years, there have been approximately studies examining the use of digital games for mathematics learning, and the number of studies is still increasing.

To put it bluntly, DGBL studies in the field of mathematics education has been dramatically increasing in quantity. However, what about the quality? Although many studies reported the potential and effectiveness of digital games on mathematics learning, it was also found that there is some need to improve the quality of the studies in the field, as stated in the discussion section. Even though this study could obtain and present the overall effects of digital games on mathematics learning numerically, it should be noted that only 17 of studies had sufficient statistical data for the effect size calculation.

In other words, if more empirical research studies are conducted, the effect size would change in either a positive or negative direction. Therefore, more empirical studies are needed to discover more accurately how much digital games affect learning mathematics.

Digital game‐based learning for K–12 mathematics education: A meta‐analysis

Whenever new media or new technologies become part of our daily lives, educators ask whether they might help students learn better. Name of the authors Year Purposes of the study 1 Avraamidou et al. Volume , Issue If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. School Science and Mathematics Volume , Issue Email: jaehwan.

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