Gamification may make better mathematicians
A student who struggles with math can be frustrated in the classroom. Math education games give a student a fun way to practice his or her math skills. Playing math games may help reduce a student's math anxiety and encourage him or her to develop a positive attitude toward math studies.
There are many different types of educational games, including video games, iPad applications, VR simulations, and more. Math education games can cover a variety of concepts, from early education counting to upper school curriculum-based games.
Thriving in a game-based learning environment
Organizing and executing an educational game experience for students requires more than just giving students access to the program. Facilitators work closely with each student, to help him or her step out of his or her comfort zone to explore the subject through the game.
Many students enjoy the stimulation that games provide, and studies have shown that students are more engaged while using game-based learning.
Using math games as a tool for classroom instruction combines an individualized experience for each student with a fun and friendly collective competition. A student may be less self-conscious playing a game because he or she is having fun. He or she is likely to be less concerned with failing and enjoy playing with and against his or her peers.
How does game-based learning make better mathematicians?
It is easy to see how gamification in mathematics is enjoyable and fun for students. If you are wondering if that enjoyment translates into better test scores – the answer is yes.
One study found that students who had played educational math games improved individual test scores by 15 percent.
Not only did the students in this study improve their understanding of the subject matter, but they also reported higher levels of self-efficacy for the math they studied. Learning through games increased a student's competency and enjoyment of math.
Learning mathematics empirically, as opposed to pure logic and abstract, has a demonstratable effect on a student's understanding of this subject.
Here are some additional benefits of educational math games:
- A student can explore practical applications of math skills
- A student can learn from his or her peers through competition and team collaboration
- A student can have the opportunity to learn via a format he or she knows well and enjoys (such as a digital game)
- A student can learn without feeling pressured by grades and examinations
What we can learn from this information is that traditional "pen and paper" teaching methods for mathematics do not need to be the primary standard for math education. A recent survey found that as many as half of all teachers are utilizing games as part of their regular instruction.
Embracing new technology with game-based learning gives each student an opportunity to learn math and enjoy the process.
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