Mathblaster Powerpoint Draft

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Mathblaster Powerpoint Draft

  1. 1. Using Digital Games in the Classroom: an example of Math Blaster
  2. 2. Digital Math Games in the Classroom <ul><li>Student Populations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beck and Wade (2004): Drill and practice games have long been used in formal learning environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satwicz and Stevens (2008): Games involving quantitative representations e.g numbers, icons, colors, allow for more “transfer” to common real life scenarios like money counting and time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific Populations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Butler et al. (2001): Children with mild and moderate mental retardation </li></ul></ul>http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/09/15/magazine/1248069030957/games-theory.html
  3. 3. Literature on the use of Math-blaster in classrooms <ul><li>Commercially available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Criticized in research communities. little to no relationship between context of the game and the content being learned. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Satwicz and Stevens (2008): Math-blaster is more similar to drill and practice given in traditional learning environments than other more interactive games. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Squire (2006): Math-Blaster an Exogenous game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge: discrete facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning: memorizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction: drill and practice </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Math-blaster Game Components <ul><li>Set of drill and practice activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals of the game are accuracy and speed. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Math-blaster Game Components Continued <ul><ul><li>4 activities: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look and Learn : incorporates Mayer’s pre-training and modality principle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build Your Skill : entering answers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge Yourself : problems presented with numbers missing and students are asked to fill in missing information. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Math-blaster : arcade game. Does not incorporate Mayer’s coherence or spatial contiguity principles well. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mayer (2005): game has many different saving points built in so learners can segment their experience as they need to. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Design of Math-Blaster Interfaces <ul><li>Poor data-ink ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance of bilateral symmetry of screen components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wasted screen space w/redundancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If differences are present, users may not detect them (may lead to error) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, some “friendly graphics” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the question is spelled out in text, upper and lowercase letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Color-blind users could still play game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elliot and Norris (1998) focus groups indicated that graphics were engaging. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tufte (1983) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Math-blaster Design <ul><li>Affordances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rockets are “earned” and therefore used to “shoot” down corresponding answers in the Math-blaster section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some sections confusing as to whether students should click on correct answer, type answer in or both. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Math-blaster requires students to choose a character: different characters do not afford different game reactions or functions within the game. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Math-blaster Design <ul><li>Mappings </li></ul><ul><li>Most controls correspond with expected keys </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. arrows move rocket horizontally or vertically </li></ul><ul><li>However, after the instructions are displayed students are not given more cues as to how to operate the controls. e.g. shoot the rocket </li></ul><ul><li>Norman (1990) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Incorporation of Math-blaster in classrooms instruction <ul><li>For Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Elliot and Norris (1998) : Focus groups reported game incorporates a “fun and motivational” aspect of a shooting game in with rote memorization of math facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Game also incorporates the learning of some math vocabulary like “sum” and “product” </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for individual and group instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Progress tracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However as shown by Becker (2006), while the output does include progress on 7 skills such as “mental math, problem solving and find equivalents”, the program does not determine which items correspond with which skill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How can teachers target specific skills for students who are lacking? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Incorporation of Math-blaster in Classroom Instruction <ul><li>For Students </li></ul><ul><li>Word problems similar to those used in conventional classroom instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the student has given two incorrect responses to a problem, the correct answer is displayed. Different sounds indicate correct or incorrect answers to guide users (Norman, 1990) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game structure allows students to track their own progress as they advance through levels and become more accurate with their answers. </li></ul>
  11. 11. References <ul><li>Becker, K. (2006). Classifying learning objectives in commercial games. Authors and Canadian Games Study Association . </li></ul><ul><li>Butler, F., Miller, S., Lee, K., Pierce, T. (2001). Teaching mathematics to students with mild-to-moderate mental retardation: A review of the literature. Mental Retardation , 39 (1), 20-31. </li></ul><ul><li>Hummel, J. (1985). Math-Blaster courseware review. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 18, 241-242. </li></ul><ul><li>Mayer, R. (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>New York Times: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/09/15/magazine/1248069030957/games-theory.html. Retrieved 12/14/2010 by Brittney Huntington </li></ul>
  12. 12. References <ul><li>Norman, D. (1990). The Design of Everyday Things. Doubleday Business. </li></ul><ul><li>Satwicz, T., and Stevens, R. (2008). Playing with representations: How do kids make use of quantitative representations in video games? International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning , 13, 179-206. </li></ul><ul><li>Squire, K. (2006). From content to context: Videogames as designed experience. Educational Researcher , 35 (8), 19-29. </li></ul><ul><li>Soloway, E., Norris, C. (1998). Using technology to address old problems in new ways. Communications of the AMC , 41, 11-18. </li></ul><ul><li>Tufte, E. R. (1983). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press. </li></ul>

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