How to Apply Gamification Techniques to Design a Gaming Environment for Algebra Concepts

  • Usef FaghihiEmail author
  • Donald Aguilar
  • David Chatman
  • Nicholas Gautier
  • Jeffrey Gholson
  • Justin Gholson
  • Melvin Lipka
  • Robert Dill
  • Philippe Fournier-Viger
  • Sioui Maldonado-Bouchard
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 180)


Applying game-like mechanics in non-game software is a technique known as gamification. Gaming environments have been used to teach mathematical topics such as addition and division in a fun manner. However, given the difficulty of mathematical concepts, especially at the college level, it is very difficult to make software that can be considered both a video game and a teaching tool. Past game work in mathematics has mainly been the creation of puzzle games for primitive concepts such as addition. Our aim with this work is to show how we can build a type of entertainment software that allows users to learn mathematical concepts through play and investigate whether this type of game can help reduce players stress.


Gamification Artificial intelligence Tutoring systems Gamifing mathematics’ concepts 



We wish to thank Sioui Maldonado-Bouchard for her help in revising English in this paper, sharing her neuroscience expertise and the design and implantation of statistical experiments in this work.


  1. 1.
    Donovan, M.S., Bransford, J.D.: How Students Learn: History in the Classroom. National Academies Press, Washington, DC (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Scarlatos, L.L.: Tangible math. Interact. Technol. Smart Educ. 3, 293–309 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bonwell, C.C., Eison, J.A.: Active learning: creating excitement in the classroom, (School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University Washington, DC) (1991)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Faghihi, U., Brautigam, A., Jorgenson, K., Martin, D., Brown, A., Measures, E., Maldonado-Bouchard, S.: How gamification applies for educational purpose specially with college algebra. Procedia Comput. Sci. 41, 182–187 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Melis, E., Siekmann, J.: activemath: an intelligent tutoring system for mathematics. In: Rutkowski, L., Siekmann, J.H., Tadeusiewicz, R., Zadeh, L.A. (eds.) ICAISC 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3070, pp. 91–101. Springer, Heidelberg (2004). doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-24844-6_12 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Corbett, A.T., Koedinger, K.R., Anderson, J.R.: Intelligent tutoring systems. In: Handbook of Human Computer Interaction, pp. 849–874 (1997)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Latham, A.: A conversational intelligent tutoring system to automatically predict learning styles. Comput. Educ. 59, 95–109 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Plake, B.S., Parker, C.S.: The development and validation of a revised version of the mathematics anxiety rating scale. Educ. Psychol. Measur. 42, 551–557 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ma, X.: A meta-analysis of the relationship between anxiety toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics. J. Res. Math. Educ. 30, 520–540 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Insights, M.M.: K–12 Education: Opportunities and Strategies for Ontario Entrepreneurs (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brown, A.L.: Motivation to learn and understand: on taking charge of one’s own learning. Cogn. Instr. 5, 311–321 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Koster, R.: Theory of Fun for Game Design. O’Reilly Media Inc., Sebastopol (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    McCallum, S.: Gamification and serious games for personalized health. Stud. Health Technol. Inf. 177, 85–96 (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zichermann, G., Cunningham, C.: Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps. O’Reilly Media Inc., Sebastopol (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    MacDonald, A.: Can We Change Behaviour and Meet Objectives Through Fun. Policy Horizons Canada, Ottawa (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Newsom, G., Dickey, L.: Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government. Penguin, New York (2013). Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stanislav, V.: Online Problems for Mathematics and Computer Science Education (2013)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nicholson, S.: A user-centered theoretical framework for meaningful gamification. In: Proceedings GLS 8 (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Usef Faghihi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Donald Aguilar
    • 2
  • David Chatman
    • 2
  • Nicholas Gautier
    • 2
  • Jeffrey Gholson
    • 2
  • Justin Gholson
    • 2
  • Melvin Lipka
    • 2
  • Robert Dill
    • 2
  • Philippe Fournier-Viger
    • 3
  • Sioui Maldonado-Bouchard
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computing and TechnologyCameron UniversityLawtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Natural Sciences and HumanitiesHarbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenChina
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations