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Creators/Authors contains: "Ke, Fengfeng"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Background

    Game‐based learning can frame problem‐solving as a sense‐making experience with domain‐specific tasks for school students. However, multiple challenges arise when trying to support learners in such a complex, problem‐oriented learning environment.

    Objectives and Methods

    With an architecture‐themed mathematics learning game, we conducted two mixed‐method studies to explore the impact and design of game‐based mathematical experience on the math problem‐solving performance of middle school students.

    Results and Conclusions

    The study findings suggested a positive impact of game‐based math experience on math problem‐solving for middle school students. Problematization‐oriented game‐based math tasks with structuring features enhanced students' reasoning with problems and channelled it to doing mathematics.


    The current research findings support the initiative to frame learning as a sense‐making experience with domain‐specific tasks and inform the design of game‐based mathematical experience and learning support.

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  3. Students frequently struggled with the mathematizing process – forging connections between implicit and explicit mathematical thinking – when solving a context-rich applied problem. The current research investigated how students interact with and leverage purposively designed ‘mathematizing’ supports when solving applied math problems in a game-based, inquiry-oriented math learning environment. We conducted a naturalistic observation case study and a mixed-method study to investigate middle school students’ usage of mathematizing supports in relation to their math problem-solving performance. The findings indicated a positive and predictive impact of using mathematizing supports on the logged and observed practice of mathematization as well as the performance of applied math problem solving by the students during and after gaming. However, not all students leverage in-game mathematizing supports or engage in problem mathematizing processes. The grounds of students’ constructive interaction with a mathematizing support include their productive persistence in problem solving, their exercise of agency in gauging the utility of mathematizing, and their engagement with deductive reasoning from concrete to abstract. We also observed an interplay between internal and external mathematizing supports, which is moderated by the modality of learning settings.

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  4. Although prior research has highlighted the significance of representations for mathematical learning, there is still a lack of research on how students use multimodal external representations (MERs) to solve mathematical tasks in digital game-based learning (DGBL) environments. This exploratory study was to examine the salient patterns problem solvers demonstrated using MERs when they engaged in a single-player, three-dimensional architecture game that requires the acquisition and application of math knowledge and thinking in game-based context problem solving. We recorded and systematically coded the behaviors of using MERs demonstrated by 20 university students during 1.5 hours of gameplay. We conducted both cluster and sequential analyses with a total of 2654 encoded behaviors. The study indicated that the maneuverable visual-spatial representation was most frequently used in the selected architecture game. All of the participants performed a high level of representational transformations, including both treatment and conversion transformations. However, compared to the students in the second cluster who were mostly non-game players, students in the first cluster (composed of mainly experienced video game players) displayed a higher frequency of interacting with various MERs and a more cautious and optimized reflective problem-solving process. 
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