Advertisement

EFFECTIVENESS OF USING GAMES IN TERTIARY-LEVEL MATHEMATICS CLASSROOMS

  • ERNEST AFARIEmail author
  • JILL M. ALDRIDGE
  • BARRY J. FRASER
Article

Abstract

The primary focus of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of games when used in tertiary-level mathematics classes in the United Arab Emirates. Our study incorporated a mixed-method approach that involved surveys (to assess students’ perceptions of the learning environment and attitudes towards mathematics), interviews, observations of classes and narrative stories. A sample of 90 students from 3 tertiary-level institutions in Abu Dhabi participated in the study. In-depth qualitative data provided information about the introduction and use of games in mathematics. A narrative, based on classroom observations of students playing Jeopardy!-type mathematics games, provided insights into games in action in the classrooms. The data were analysed to examine students’ interactions during the games and to triangulate, clarify and explain students’ responses to the learning environment and attitude questionnaires. To examine pre–post differences in students perceptions of the learning environment and their attitudes, 2 questionnaires were administered to students before and after the introduction of games. Pre–post differences for 3 of the 6 learning environment scales (Teacher Support, Involvement, Personal Relevance) and both attitude scales (Enjoyment of Mathematics Lessons and Academic Efficacy scales) were statistically significant. Information obtained from interviews with students and teachers were used to explain the pre–post differences.

Key words

academic efficacy attitudes mathematics games narrative United Arab Emirates What Is Happening In this Class? (WIHIC) 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

10763_2012_9340_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)

References

  1. Afari, E., Aldridge, J. M., Fraser, B. J., & Khine, M. S. (in press). Students’ perceptions of the learning environment and attitudes in game-based mathematics classrooms. Learning Environments Research.Google Scholar
  2. Aldridge, J. M. & Fraser, B. J. (2008). Outcomes-focused learning environments: Determinants and effects. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  3. Aldridge, J. M., Fraser, B. J. & Huang, I. T.-C. (1999). Investigating classroom environments in Taiwan and Australia with multiple research methods. The Journal of Educational Research, 93, 48–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aldridge, J. M., Fraser, B. J. & Ntuli, S. (2009). Utilising learning environment assessments to improve teaching practices among in-service teachers undertaking a distance-education programme. South African Journal of Education, 29, 147–170.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, G. L. & Walberg, H. J. (1968). Classroom climate group learning. International Journal of Educational Sciences, 2, 175–180.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, G. L. & Walberg, H. J. (1974). Learning environments. In H. J. Walberg (Ed.), Evaluating educational performance: A sourcebook of methods, instruments, and examples (pp. 81–98). Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.Google Scholar
  7. Annetta, L. A., Cheng, M. T. & Holmes, S. (2010). Assessing twenty-first century skills through a teacher created video game for high school biology students. Research in Science & Technological Education, 28, 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist, 44, 1175–1184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bragg, L. A. (2007). Students’ conflicting attitudes towards games as a vehicle for learning mathematics: A methodological dilemma. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 19(1), 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruce, C. (2007). Student interaction in the math classroom: Stealing ideas or building understanding? Research into Practice: Ontario Association of Deans of Education Research Monograph # 1 (premier edition), pp. 1−4. Google Scholar
  11. Carter, K. (1993). The place of story in the study of teaching and teacher education. Educational Researcher, 22, 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chandra, V. & Fisher, D. L. (2009). Students’ perceptions of a blended web-based learning environment. Learning Environments Research, 12, 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chionh, Y. H. & Fraser, B. J. (2009). Classroom environment, self-esteem, achievement and attitudes in geography and mathematics in Singapore. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 18, 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clandinin, D. J. & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  15. Cohen, J. (1992). Quantitative methods in psychology: A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 155–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Introduction: Entering the field of qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 1–18). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Dorman, J. P. (2008). Use of multitrait–multimethod modelling to validate actual and preferred forms of the What Is Happening In this Class? (WIHIC) questionnaire. Learning Environments Research, 11, 179–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dorman, J. P. & Fraser, B. J. (2009). Psychosocial environment and affective outcomes in technology-rich classrooms: Testing a causal model. Social Psychology of Education, 12, 77–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Finn, J. D. & Voelkl, K. E. (1993). School characteristics related to engagement. The Journal of Negro Education, 62, 249–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behaviour: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  22. Fraser, B. J. (1981). Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  23. Fraser, B. J. (2001). Twenty thousand hours: Editor’s introduction. Learning Environments Research, 4, 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fraser, B. J. (2007). Classroom learning environments. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 103–124). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Fraser, B. J. (2012). Classroom learning environments: Retrospect, context and prospect. In B. J. Fraser, K. G. Tobin & C. J. McRobbie (Eds.), Second international handbook of science education (pp. 1191–1239). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fraser, B. J., Aldridge, J. M. & Adolphe, G. (2010). A cross-national study of secondary science classroom environments in Australia and Indonesia. Research in Science Education, 40, 551–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gaad, E., Arif, M. & Scott, F. (2006). Systems analysis of the UAE education system. International Journal of Educational Management, 20, 291–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. George, R. (2000). Measuring change in students’ attitudes toward science over time: An application of latent variable growth modelling. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 9, 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Germann, P. J. (1988). Development of the attitude toward science in school assessment and its use to investigate the relationship between science achievement and attitude toward science in schools. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 25, 689–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gosen, J. & Washbush, J. (2004). A review of scholarship on assessing experiential learning effectiveness. Simulation and Gaming, 35, 270–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hijzen, D., Boekaerts, M. & Vedder, P. (2007). Exploring the links between students’ engagement in cooperative learning, their goal preferences and appraisals of instructional conditions in the classroom. Learning and Instruction, 17, 673–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jinks, J. L. & Morgan, V. (1999). Children’s perceived academic self-efficacy: An inventory scale. Clearing House, 72, 224–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kangas, M. (2010). Creative and playful learning: Learning through game co-creation and games in a playful learning environment. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 5, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kember, D., Ho, A. & Hong, C. (2010). Characterising a teaching and learning environment capable of motivating student learning. Learning Environments Research, 13, 43–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Khoo, H. S. & Fraser, B. J. (2008). Using classroom psychosocial environment in the evaluation of adult computer application courses in Singapore. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 17, 53–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kiili, K. (2005). Digital game-based learning: Towards an experiential gaming model. Internet and Higher Education, 8, 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kim, H. B., Fisher, D. L. & Fraser, B. J. (2000). Classroom environment and teacher interpersonal behaviour in secondary science classes in Korea. Evaluation and Research in Education, 14, 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kind, P., Jones, K. & Barmby, P. (2007). Developing attitudes towards science measures. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 871–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lewin, K. (1936). Principles of topological psychology. New York: McGraw.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lincoln, Y. S. & Denzin, N. K. (1994). The fifth moment. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 575–586). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Maor, D. & Fraser, B. J. (1996). Use of classroom environment perceptions in evaluating inquiry-based computer assisted learning. International Journal of Science Education, 18, 401–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Martin-Dunlop, C. & Fraser, B. J. (2008). Learning environment and attitudes associated with an innovative course designed for prospective elementary teachers. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 6, 163–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Massey, A. P., Brown, S. A. & Johnston, J. D. (2005). It's all fun and games…until students learn. Journal of Information Systems Education, 16(1), 9–14.Google Scholar
  44. Moos, R. H. (1974). The social climate scales: An overview. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  45. Moos, R. H. (1979). Evaluating educational environments: Procedures measures, findings, and policy implications. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  46. Moos, R. H. & Trickett, E. J. (1974). Classroom Environment Scale manual (1st ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press.Google Scholar
  47. Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Nicks-McCaleb, L. (2005). The impact of state funded higher education on neighbourhood and community in the United Arab Emirates. International Education Journal, 6, 322–334.Google Scholar
  49. Nicol, C. (2002). Where’s the math? Prospective teachers visit the workplace. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 50, 289–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nix, R. K., Fraser, B. J. & Ledbetter, C. E. (2005). Evaluating an integrated science learning environment using the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey. Learning Environments Research, 8, 109–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ogbuehi, P. I. & Fraser, B. J. (2007). Learning environment, attitudes and conceptual development associated with innovative strategies in middle-school mathematics. Learning Environments Research, 10, 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Paraskeva, F., Mysirlaki, S. & Papagianni, A. (2010). Multiplayer online games as educational tools: Facing new challenges in learning. Computers in Education, 54, 498–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Park, S. Y. (2005). Student engagement and classroom variables in improving mathematics achievement. Asia Pacific Education Review, 6(1), 87–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Polkinghorne, D. E. (1995). Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. In J. A. Hatch & R. Wisniewski (Eds.), Life history as narrative (pp. 5–23). London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  55. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital game-based learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  56. Proserpio, L. & Gioia, D. (2007). Teaching the virtual generation. The Academy of Management Learning and Education, 6(1), 69–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rajecki, D. W. (1990). Attitudes. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.Google Scholar
  58. Reid, N. (2006). Thoughts on attitude measurement. Research in Science and Technological Education, 24, 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ross, J. A., McDougall, D., Hogaboam-Gray, A. & LeSage, A. (2003). A survey measuring elementary teachers’ implementation of standards-based mathematics teaching. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 34, 344–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shaw, K. E., Badri, A. A. M. A. & Hukul, A. (1995). Management concerns in United Arab Emirates state schools. International Journal of Educational Management, 9(4), 8–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Spinner, H. & Fraser, B. J. (2005). Evaluation of an innovative mathematics program in terms of classroom environment, student attitude, and conceptual development. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 3, 267–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stacey, J. (1988). Can there be feminist ethnography? Women’s Studies International Forum, 11, 21–27.Google Scholar
  63. Stern, G. G., Stein, M. I. & Bloom, B. S. (1956). Methods in personality assessment. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.Google Scholar
  64. Story, D. P. (2007). JJ_Game Class Home Page. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from http://www.math.uakron.edu/~dpstory/jj_game.html
  65. Tan, K. H. (2007). Comparing games and case methods in enhancing student learning. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 4, 224–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tan, K. H., Tse, Y. K. & Chung, P. L. (2010). A plug and play pathway approach for operations management games development. Computers in Education, 55, 109–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Taylor, P. C. & Campbell-Williams, M. (1993). Discourse toward balanced rationality in the high school mathematics classroom: Ideas from Habermas’s critical theory. In J. A. Malone & P. C. S. Taylor (Eds.), Constructivist interpretations of teaching and learning mathematics (Proceeding of Topic Group 10 at the Seventh International Congress on Mathematical Education) (pp. 135–148). Perth, Western Australia, Australia: Curtin University of Technology.Google Scholar
  68. Taylor, P. C., Fraser, B. J. & Fisher, D. L. (1997). Monitoring constructivist classroom learning environments. International Journal of Educational Research, 27, 293–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thompson, B. (1998). Review of ‘what if there were no significance tests?’. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 58, 334–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Thompson, B. (2001). Significance, effect sizes, stepwise methods and other issues: Strong arguments move the field. The Journal of Experimental Education, 7, 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Velayutham, S., Aldridge, J. M., & Fraser, B. J. (2011). Development and validation of an instrument to measure students’ motivation and self-regulation in science learning. International Journal of Science Education, 33, 2159–2179.Google Scholar
  72. Walberg, H. J. (1968). Teacher personality and classroom climate. Psychology in the Schools, 5, 163–169.Google Scholar
  73. Wolf, S. J. & Fraser, B. J. (2008). Learning environment, attitudes and achievement among middle school science students using inquiry-based laboratory activities. Research in Science Education, 38, 321–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zantow, K., Knowlton, D. S. & Sharp, D. C. (2005). More than fun and games: Reconsidering the virtues of strategic management simulations. The Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4, 451–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zimmerman, B. J., Bandura, A. & Martinez-Pons, M. (1992). Self-motivation for academic attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal setting. American Educational Research Journal, 29, 663–676.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • ERNEST AFARI
    • 1
    Email author
  • JILL M. ALDRIDGE
    • 1
  • BARRY J. FRASER
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Mathematics Education CentreCurtin University PerthPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations