Digital Math Games Can Improve Students’ Proficiency

May 24, 2016
GSE Digital Math

A study of third graders by Charmaine Mangram and Holly Pope shows that those student who used the Wuzzit Trouble math game for 30 minutes a week measurably improved their ability to reason through open-ended math problems.

Pope and Mangram, both doctoral candidates in Curriculm Studies and Teacher Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, suggests that math-oriented computer games can help students improve their underlying math proficiency – their ability to think through problems, rather than simply speed up their performance of rote arithmetic.

Watch Holly Pope’s Presentation From the Interactive Media & Games Seminar Series.

The game was created by Brainquake, a company co-founded by Keith Devlin, executive director of Stanford’s H-STAR Institute as well as the “Math Guy” on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

“Students who are great memorizers and quick to answer tend to excel in traditional math environments,” they note. But “this creates an atmosphere where very few students feel comfortable in taking risks for fear of getting the wrong answer…We argue that this fixed mindset is [also] evident in many mobile math games available to students.”

The Wuzzit experiment, they conclude, shows that a math game can strengthen a deeper understanding of mathematics as well as the kind of creative and flexible thinking that is essential to true math proficiency.

Read The Entire Stanford News Story by Edmund L. Andrews HERE.
(Photo: Marc Franklin)