Using mini-games for learning multiplication and division: a longitudinal effect study
FI Scientific Library, nr. 83. Bakker, M. (2014)
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This thesis reports the findings of a three-year longitudinal research project set up to investigate the effectiveness of employing online mini-games for the learning of multiplication and division, including multiplicative fact knowledge (declarative knowledge), multiplicative operation skills (procedural knowledge), and insight in multiplicative number relations (conceptual knowledge). A large number of primary school students was followed from end Grade 1 to end Grade 4. The first study in this thesis examined the students’ initial multiplicative ability at the end of Grade 1, just before multiplication and division were formally introduced. The second study was on the effects of multiplicative mini-games in Grade 2. A cluster randomized experiment was used, with four conditions: playing multiplicative mini-games at school, integrated in a lesson (E1), playing multiplicative mini-games at home without attention at school (E2), playing multiplicative mini-games at home with debriefing at school (E3), and a control group (C) in which mini-games on other mathematics domains were played at school. The third study investigated the effects of the mini-games in both Grade 2 and Grade 3. The fourth study examined the effectiveness of the mini-games in special primary education (Grade 2). Here, only the E1 and C condition were included. It was found that the multiplicative mini-games positively affected students’ multiplicative fact knowledge as compared to the control group (d = 0.39). The fifth study investigated the development of regular primary education students’ attitude towards mathematics, from end Grade 1 to end Grade 4. In accordance with earlier studies, mathematics attitude was found to decrease over the years.

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