Learning multiplicative reasoning by playing computer games

M. Bakker, M. Van den Heuvel - Panhuizen , A. Robitzsch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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This paper reports about a large-scale longitudinal field experiment investigating the
effects of online mathematics mini-games on second- and third-graders’ multiplicative
reasoning abilities. The study included students in regular primary education (n = 719)
and special primary education (n = 81). There were three experimental conditions:
playing multiplicative mini-games at school, at home, and at home with debriefing at
school. In the control condition mini-games on other mathematical topics were played
at school. For regular primary education, results showed that the mini-games were
most effective in the home-school condition, where they promoted both multiplicative
skills and insight (significant ds ranging from 0.22 to 0.29). In the school condition, an
effect was only found for insight in Grade 2 (d = 0.35); in the home condition there
were no effects. In special primary education, a significant effect was found for the
school condition in improving multiplicative fact knowledge (d = 0.39).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of ICMI Study 23: Primary mathematics study on whole numbers
EditorsX. Sun, B. Kaur, J. Novotná
Place of PublicationChina
PublisherMacau, China
ISBN (Print)9789996510663
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • mathematics computer games
  • multiplicative reasoning
  • primary education
  • special primary education


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