The impact of individual, competitive, and collaborative mathematics game play on learning, performance, and motivation

Jan L. Plass, Paul A. O'Keefe, Bruce D. Homer, Jennifer Case, Elizabeth O. Hayward, Murphy Stein, Ken Perlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present research examined how mode of play in an educational mathematics video game impacts learning, performance, and motivation. The game was designed for the practice and automation of arithmetic skills to increase fluency and was adapted to allow for individual, competitive, or collaborative game play. Participants (N = 58) from urban middle schools were randomly assigned to each experimental condition. Results suggested that, in comparison to individual play, competition increased in-game learning, whereas collaboration decreased performance during the experimental play session. Although out-of-game math fluency improved overall, it did not vary by condition. Furthermore, competition and collaboration elicited greater situational interest and enjoyment and invoked a stronger mastery goal orientation. Additionally, collaboration resulted in stronger intentions to play the game again and to recommend it to others. Results are discussed in terms of the potential for mathematics learning games and technology to increase student learning and motivation and to demonstrate how different modes of engagement can inform the instructional design of such games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1066
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Achievement goal orientations
  • Games
  • Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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