TYPE OF TASK IN A MATHEMATICAL SKILLS VIDEOGAME AFFECTS CHILDREN’S PERCEPTION OF LEARNING AND AMUSEMENT
1 Centro de Computação Gráfica – Research & Technology Development, University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
2 Centro de Investigação em Psicologia (CIPsi) / Centro de Computação Gráfica – Research & Technology Development. University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In this study we explored the impact of performing mathematical tasks presented in the context of an “adventure challenge” or a “mathematical challenge” in a videogame. This videogame – “Matemática do Tempo” – is being developed to facilitate learning of mathematical skills like counting, grouping, and relating numbers. The videogame consists in various movement control tasks with dynamic (e.g., running) and static (e.g., pointing) interactions. Our objective was to test the impact of the integration of a direct mathematical task versus an indirect mathematical task. A group of 18 five year-old children performed the game in two conditions: a) adventure challenge, which implied movements such as running or climbing trees to perform mathematical tasks of counting and grouping; and b) mathematical challenge, which included swimming after selecting the correct path through counting, followed by a direct mathematical task of pointing to organize numbers in a line. Our assumptions were evaluated according to questionnaires and video analysis of the children playing the game. Results confirmed our hypothesis, showing that players performing the mathematical challenge generally considered that they were learning with the game, and most agreeing that the game was fun. Participants in the adventure challenge condition on the other hand showed a tendency to evaluate the game as very funny and were more distributed in the learning evaluation. In conclusion, we suggest that the inclusion of direct mathematical tasks might lead to increased perception of learning, however they also seem to result in lower amusement ratings.
Keywords: Motion control, videogames, mathematical skills.