Understanding type and characteristics of mathematics apps can help primary school teachers to effectively assess and select apps to support learning. This study is an exploratory comparison of four different types of mathematics apps (practice-based, constructive, productive, game-based) based on the assessment of three characteristics (perceived learning value, usability, engagement) from the perspective of 20 grade 3 and 4 students over a five-week period. Pre- and post-test results indicated that students’ knowledge of basic addition and subtraction increased significantly after using mathematics apps. The results suggested that there were clear differences among the four apps examined. The game-based app was rated high on all three app characteristics. Productivity and constructive apps were rated relatively high on perceived learning and low on usability and engagement. The practice-based app ranked high on usability and engagement, but low on perceived learning. Future research needs to look at app type and characteristics in more depth and explore pedagogical choices when selecting and integrating mathematics apps in the classroom.
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Appendix A: Attitude survey
Are you a: Boy or Girl (circle one)
What grade are you in? _____
What year were you born? ________
Please circle a number that tells how much you agree or disagree.
|Strongly disagree||Disagree||Neutral||Agree||Strongly agree|
|4. The app helped me to learn to add better||1||2||3||4||5|
|5. The app helped me to learn to subtract better||1||2||3||4||5|
|6. The app was easy to use||1||2||3||4||5|
|7. The app was fun to use||1||2||3||4||5|
What, if anything, did you like about using this app?
What, if anything, did you not like about using this app?
Appendix B: Interview
The interviewer placed the iPad in front of the student
Teacher: Hi (students’ name)! How are you? Please have a seat, (student’s name).
I would like to ask you a few questions about whether you liked using mathematics apps, and whether it helped you learn. It is important for teachers to find out the best apps to use in our mathematics class.
Which math apps were the most helpful? Show me on the iPad
Why did you choose these apps?
Were the uses of these apps in the math class helpful? Why or why not?
Did you have any problems or issues using these apps?
Appendix C: Sample test format
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Kay, R., Kwak, J.Y. Comparing types of mathematics apps used in primary school classrooms: an exploratory analysis. J. Comput. Educ. 5, 349–371 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40692-018-0109-x
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