Using Interactive Games to Improve Math Achievement Among Middle School Students in Need of Remediation Open Access
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Abstract of DissertationMany parents and educators ask, "Can electronic games help students learn math?" That question was the focus of this empirical investigation, which was designed to determine the extent to which interactive electronic educational games have a positive impact on the math achievement of middle school students. This project was completed during the second and third marking periods of school year 2010-2011. This study was focused on the following research question: To what extent are there significant differences in math game intervention posttest scores (when controlling for pretest scores) among three groups of seventh-grade math students at a suburban public school in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States? To answer the research question, a quasi-experimental study was conducted, which involved 128 students in three groups. One group of 30 students received an electronic game as an intervention as part of its remedial instruction. A second group of 32 students received remedial instruction but not the intervention. The third group of 66 students received neither remedial instruction nor the intervention. The research period was 18 weeks. A pretest and a posttest were given to all students in the sample. Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Based on the data analysis, it was concluded that (a) receiving an interactive game intervention combined with remediation training (the experimental group) was superior to remediation training alone (the comparison group) or no intervention (the control group) and that (b) remediation training alone (the comparison group) was superior to no intervention (the control group). All three groups achieved posttest scores that were roughly the same. The experimental group had the lowest pretest scores; the comparison group had higher pretest scores than the experimental group; the control group had the highest pretest scores. The results from the ANCOVA indicated a statistically significant difference between the pretest and posttest math achievement scores. When controlling for pretest differences between the three groups, the estimated marginal means for the control group improved by 23.60 points, by 28.21 points for the comparison group, and by 35.20 points for the experimental group.