Research Computer Game Improves the Motivation of Learning Mathematics in Elementary School Introduction The hypothesis that computer games improve motivation in learning mathematics in elementary schools is rather supported than refuted, which can be definitely proved with the review of literature that will be further provided…
According to Azevedo (2005), mathematics or math games are fun activities. They usually encourage motivation, call for deep thinking, require both chance and skills, and provide multiple approaches to problem solving. These games implement certain mathematical strategies and skills by leveraging the natural inclination of the student to play. The games can either be played by an individual, a small or large group; it can be cooperative and/or competitive (Azevedo, 2005). Mathematical games have been proved to have some rewarding impacts to students. Azevedo (2005) argues that games are usually part of after-school activities. Math games can provide the students with suitable contexts for developing both socially and mathematically. In addition, Shin, Sutherland, Norris & Soloway (2012) affirm that students can explore and discuss new strategies with their peers and use these strategies to solve and calculate mathematical problems. Furthermore, math games allow the students to participate at a level of their choice and build on their knowledge and understanding. There exists limited empirical literature that supports the hypothesis with most of those advocating for the technique being the game developers and investors, which makes the supporting results relatively biased (Guha & Leonard, 2002). Review of Literature There have been many studies showing how computer games find their place at the elementary school class and students. In order to support the hypothesis that computer games improve motivation in learning mathematics in elementary school, four studies from different sources are considered. The first study examined the practice of computer games in a 4th and 5th graders’ summer school math program. This study focused on the students’ motivation with computer games and learning environment based on such games and on how game-playing improved students’ math learning. This study indicated that using computer games in math is being more simplistic than commercial (Ke, 2008). Moreover, the findings of the study put emphasis on the task of designing appropriate activities that will be connected with computer games to enhance student motivation such as collaborative activities. The limitations occurred in the mentioned study show that this is a case study of one particular set of learning games with a small amount of students who were from the same school although being rather diverse in many characteristics such as gender, socio-economic status, math abilities, etc. There have to be exercised cautions when generalizing the study ?ndings to show the interaction between other types of games and student population of different characteristics. Coming back to our hypothesis, I can say that it is supported. Generally, this study showed that all participants were excited about the games they were offered to play. It means they were motivated to learn math by playing this computer game. The next study by Kebritchi, Hirumi & Bai (2010) examined the effect of 3-D games in the field of mathematics. The crucial questions that this study offered to examine were related to the effects 3-D computer games had on students' mathematics motivation and achievement. Furthermore, the ...
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