Education Happy returns for maths students who get appy

Happy returns for maths students who get appy

A new gaming app set in ancient Egypt is helping primary school kids learn fractions and enjoy maths ‘Abydos’, developed by Edith Cowan University and St Stephen’s School in Western Australia.

Research shows that year 6 students who used the app for just two sessions a week for four weeks scored 10.5 per cent higher than those who hadn’t used it.

However, it’s not just the attractive graphics or fun story that keeps students engaged and improves their knowledge according to one of its creators.

ECU Computer Science lecturer Dr Martin Masek said the app responds and adapts to players’ abilities to make sure they’re always learning.

“For example if a student gives three incorrect answers to a problem, the app will modify the next problem to a lower level and vice-versa.

“This adaptation ensures students don’t disengage from learning if the game is too hard or too easy.

“The app works just like a traditional videogame in this respect, but instead of driving, or chasing monsters, it’s teaching fractions.”

St Stephen’s School Director of Analytics, Innovation and Special Projects, Stephen Corcoran, said that teaching students  abstract concepts like fractions was a challenge the world over.

“When students can grasp fractions, it lays a foundation for understanding more complex mathematical concepts such as algebra – a cornerstone of STEM and our nation’s future competitiveness,” Mr Corcoran says.

“I’ve had students say to me that they didn’t enjoy fractions or even like maths before using the app – that is a big breakthrough that has significant flow-on benefits for their future schooling and entire career.”.

Read more about the fractions app here. Story credit: Edith Cowan University newsroom.

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