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dc.contributor.advisorHolton, Derek
dc.contributor.advisorLinsell, Chris
dc.contributor.advisorShanks, John
dc.contributor.advisorFenton, Peter
dc.contributor.authorLee, Ya Ling
dc.date.available2012-04-01T20:59:12Z
dc.date.copyright2012
dc.identifier.citationLee, Y. L. (2012). Using Computer Games to Learn Fractions (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/2171en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/2171
dc.description.abstractStudents and teachers are facing challenges in teaching and learning fractions. The concepts related to fractions, ratios, and proportions are learned in primary school to cast a solid foundation in proportional reasoning for the understanding of more-advanced mathematics in the secondary school curriculum. In the Numeracy Development Project (NDP), a New Zealand school mathematics professional development project, more effort is called for in the areas of fractions and proportion due to the unsatisfactory performance of students and the difficulty of advancement at the higher year levels in these areas. Games are noted as being a useful tool in teaching mathematics and adopted as one type of activity in the NDP to create an enjoyable environment for effective classroom teaching. Although teachers and parents agree that games help to improve children’s knowledge and students also find learning through playing games is fun, there is still doubt on what and how students learn about mathematics through playing games. Nevertheless, researchers have agreed on the value of games for learning mathematics. The aim of this study is to develop an interactive computer game on fractions, and investigate the learning of fractions that follows as a result of playing the game. A pilot study was conducted to test the manipulation of fraction cards to develop a theoretical framework for the computer game. The computer game focuses on comparing sizes of fractions in an environment that enables players to visualize representations of fractions, manipulate parts of fractions and apply their knowledge of fractions. The developed computer game was used in the main study and used to collect relevant data to identify the effects of the game in learning fractions. The improvement of students after playing the computer game was identified by comparing the results between pre and post tests and pre and post maths tasks. In particular, changes in students’ strategies for comparing sizes of fractions in the mathematics tasks were examined. Finally, questionnaires were used to determine if students enjoy learning through the game. This study investigates students’ learning of fractions in three categories of mathematical ability, namely high achievers, average students and cause-for-concern students. High achievers improved on the use of numerical strategies while average and cause-for-concern students improved on the use of representations of fractions. The improvements in ordering fractions after using the game demonstrate its benefits. This is consistent with the notion of promoting the use of games as educational tools for learning. Based on the findings of this study, a framework of students’ strategies is developed to present a developmental picture of students’ fractional thinking. Suggestions are given to teachers to move students to more sophisticated strategies and develop their mathematical concepts based on their current mathematical thinking.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectFractions
dc.subjectMathematics games
dc.titleUsing Computer Games to Learn Fractions
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2012-03-29T07:01:33Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineMathematics and Statistics
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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