Using video games to combine learning and assessment in mathematics education

Kristian Juha Mikael Kiili, Keith Devlin, Arttu Perttula, Pauliina Tuomi, Antero Lindstedt


One problem with most education systems is that learning and (summative) assessment are generally treated as quite separate things in schools. We argue that video games can provide an opportunity to combine these processes in an engaging and effective way. The present study focuses on investigating the effectiveness and the assessment power of two different mathematics video games, Semideus and Wuzzit Trouble. In the current study, we validated the Semideus game as a rational number test instrument. We used it as a pre- and a post-test for a three-hour intervention in which we studied the effectiveness of Wuzzit Trouble, a game built on whole number arithmetic and designed to enhance mathematical thinking and problem solving skills. The results showed that (1) games can be used to assess mathematical knowledge validly, and (2) even short game-based interventions can be very effective. Based on the results, we argue that game-based assessment can create a more complete picture of mathematical knowledge than simply measuring students' accuracy, providing indicators of student misconceptions and conceptual change processes


Game; Mathematics; Learning; Assessment

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