Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.2 COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE, Computer Sciences, Information Science

Publication Details

Thesis successfully submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Computer Science Technological University Dublin.


Previous research suggests games can improve learning outcomesand students’ motivation. However, there still exists insufficient clarity on the design principles and pedagogical approach that should underpinmathematics educational games. This thesis is aimed at evaluating the effects of an educationalgame on the learningperformance and levels of anxiety promoted by mathematics activities of primary school students. The game was designed based on theprinciples of situated learning, following acombination of an in-depth literature review, a collection of teachers’ perceptions about educational games, and features ofclassroom games. Empirical evaluation of the game was performed through a 5-weeks experiment carried out in three Irish schools, with the participationof 88 students. The investigationhad a pre-post-test designand aimed to evaluate the effects of the gameon students’ mathematics performance and anxiety. In the first week, students answered the Learning Outcomes on Mathematics for Children (LOMC), a questionnaire that measured students’ knowledge ofmathematics. The same studentsalso answered the Modified Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (mAMAS), a validated self-report questionnaire to assess maths anxiety ofprimary school children. During the following three weeks, students had weekly gameplay sessions of 45-60 minutes.