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Do serious games facilitate learning mathematics with positive emotions for adult learners?

Akin, E. (2022) Do serious games facilitate learning mathematics with positive emotions for adult learners?

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Abstract:In the STEM field, students encounter emotional problems (lack/low motivation and high anxiety) in mathematics courses. These problems affect not only their achievements in the mathematics courses but also their future career/educational path. Therefore, there is an urgent need to change the current educational methods. Serious Games can be one promising educational method to facilitate desired changes in the teaching methods and the students’ emotions. In this study, we investigated whether introducing a simulation and a Serious Game to teach advanced mathematical topics could increase the students’ motivation and decrease their anxiety while learning complex numbers and the definition of derivatives. One simulation and one Serious Game were designed and implemented in two lectures for the experiment group while the control group was taught via traditional teaching methods. The “Questionnaire on Current Motivation and Anxiety” from the existing literature was used. Fifty-eight students of Electrical Engineering participated in this project. They responded to the questionnaire before and after the lectures. Only the descriptive statistics of the Probability of success subscale showed an increase in the experimental group. The descriptive statistics of the Challenge, Interest, and Anxiety subscales did not reveal any increase or decrease in either of the groups. Although the results confirmed that the simulation and the Serious Game of this study could strengthen students’ confidence in learning mathematics, no supporting evidence for the hypotheses was found. This obstruction might be justified by the effects of the students’ mathematical ability and the teachers’ efficacy on the results. Furthermore, this teaching method was employed in a brief period and the topics were not included in the final exam. Therefore, replication of this study in different settings, and for each individual participant over a longer period may lead to more corroborated findings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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