Date

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership

First Adviser

Beachum, Floyd

Other advisers/committee members

Mekdeci, Kelly; Spokane, Arnold; Hammond, Thomas

Abstract

In the last few years digital games have gained attention as potential tools for facilitating learning in different sectors of society including but not limited to military, health, and education. However, relatively few empirical studies have investigated the effects of digital games in the context of formal K-12 settings. This study examined data collected during a program evaluation to explore the effects of a digital game on middle school male and female students' mathematics achievement, situational motivation, and attitudes toward mathematics. The study included data from 168 students attending a private international school in Africa, who were assigned to treatment and control groups by stratified random sampling to ensure a balance of boys and girls as well as equal representation of students from grade six, seven and eight. Achievement was measured using internal school exams based on benchmarks aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and benchmarks. Motivation to learn mathematics was measured using the Course Interest Survey (CIS) based on Keller's ARCS model of motivation. Mathematical attitude was measured using the Fennema-Sherman Mathematical Attitude Scales (FSMAS). A Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was performed to analyze change from pre- to post-test scores in achievement, motivation, and attitudes with the independent variables of group (control and treatment) and sex (male and female). Results showed a significant increase in mathematical achievement (b = -1.87, p < .0005, ES = .13), motivation to learn in math class (b = -1.17, p < .0005, ES = .42), and attitudes toward mathematics (b = -.77, p < .05, ES = .09; b = -1.18, p < .0005, ES = .13) for both boys and girls who played the digital game.

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