Effects of a 3-D video game on middle school student achievement and attitude in mathematics

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lucas B. Gillispie (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Florence Martin

Abstract: Today's student has unprecedented access to media, information, and even global interaction that was unheard of only a few years ago. With all of the various media our students are exposed to daily, engaging student learning in a traditional classroom might prove challenging. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not a highly interactive, 3-D video game, Dimension-M, can achieve the goal of not only positively influencing middle school student achievement in mathematics, but also positively influencing their attitude. In addition, this study examined whether or not gender interacts to influence this hypothesized impact on achievement and attitude. Cape Fear Middle School created a mathematics remediation course called Virtual Math for students who achieved below proficient levels on their state end-of-grade mathematics exams. The Virtual Math class provided a setting for the study. Achievement and attitude data was collected for 21 girls and 8 boys in grades six through eight prior to their exposure to the video game environment. Following a pre-test and pre-attitude survey, students played the game?s Tutorial mission and the Xeno Island mission, which addressed the concepts of prime numbers, even and odd patterns, and perfect squares. Students received no direct mathematics instruction during the treatment period in order to test the impact of the game alone. Following the treatment, a post-test and post-attitude survey were administered. Students displayed a significant gain in achievement (t(27) = -3.96, p < .05), but no significant differences were detected between their pre- and post-attitude surveys. An interview with the tutor assigned to the students, the school?s math coach, and the principal of the school, indicated a positive impact on students? mathematics performance in their regular math classes as well as a positive impact on students? self-efficacy in mathematics. The results of the study imply that Dimension-M can potentially have a positive impact on student achievement and that students respond enthusiastically to the Dimension-M environment.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
Language: English
Date: 2009
Computer science--Study and teaching (Middle school), Educational games, Games in mathematics education, Mathematics--Computer games, Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school), Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Computer-assisted instruction, Video games, Video games and children
Games in mathematics education
Video games
Educational games
Mathematics -- Computer games
Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Middle school)
Computer science -- Study and teaching (Middle school)
Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Middle school) -- Computer-assisted instruction
Video games and children