About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1388-1394
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0440

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

SCIENCE COMPETITIONS: DO THEY FOSTER LEARNING?

L. Descalço, P. Oliveira

University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
Projecto Matemática Ensino (PmatE) was created in 1990 by three mathematics teachers from the University of Aveiro (UA) with the main goal of increasing student’s motivation for studying mathematics. Computers were emerging on education and creating a computer game on curricular mathematics seemed an appealing way of engaging students and teachers. Since then, every year in the UA, we gather thousands of students on Mathematics competitions, as well as on competitions about other curricular subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Portuguese.

The digital structure for the presentation of contents created by PmatE, named Question Generator Model (QGM), is the base that guarantees the longevity of this educational game. The QGMs are the fundamental units produced by PmatE, not only from a scientific and didactic point of view but also of the software created. The QGMs, with their highly customizable parameters without any kind of limitation, make possible the output of propositions with several formulations, although with the same objectives. It allows for students to be on computers side by side, answer questions about the same objective, with the same difficulty level, but always working on different formulations.

We present usage data from the PmatE online platform, where students and teachers register (for free), both from the practice for the competitions, and from the competition days. This illustrates the amount of time students spend in the educational games and the outstanding results some students achieve in the games.

With the goal of investigating the influence of these yearly competitions both on student’s performance and motivation we have inquired students and their teachers, in the competition days in the UA, on the years 2015 and 2017. We present the analysis of this data, from many hundreds of inquiries, and relate grades on the school subjects with results on the corresponding competitions. Based on teacher’s opinions, the positive impact of these educational games on student’s motivation is clearly relevant.
@InProceedings{DESCALCO2018SCI,
author = {Descalço, L. and Oliveira, P.},
title = {SCIENCE COMPETITIONS: DO THEY FOSTER LEARNING?},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0440},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0440},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1388-1394}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Descalço AU - P. Oliveira
TI - SCIENCE COMPETITIONS: DO THEY FOSTER LEARNING?
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0440
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 1388
EP - 1394
ER -
L. Descalço, P. Oliveira (2018) SCIENCE COMPETITIONS: DO THEY FOSTER LEARNING?, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 1388-1394.
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