Schools face an instructional dilemma with how to create a motivational environment where fractions are fun, interactive, and induce problem-solving skills through real-time application. The concept of gamification has been utilized in business for marketing, employee training, customer retention, health, and fitness with much success. How can primary educational institutions harness the potential of gamification to close academic gaps or prevent stopgaps? This situation is particularly challenging at this level because there has to be a balance between interaction, gamification, and content delivery; while also providing effective instructional learning objectives for knowledge mastery without overloading students with information and digital “noise” that can easily distract a third grader from the instructional goal. This research studied the impact of Fractionville; a gamified math program developed for third-grade students learning foundational fractions in an urban school. The study utilized a quasi-experimental approach to analyze the effects of gamification on motivation, teachers’ perceptions, and differences in achievement levels between students receiving traditional education on fractions and students receiving the gamification treatment. The study found that the Low-RTI and High classes benefited from the gamified math program (Fractionville). Also, the teachers’ overall perception of gamification in practice was positive. If gamification can be an instructional strategy to engage disenfranchised students, provide flexibility and individualized learning then similar districts could potentially examine their curriculum and data relative to instructional challenges and insert a gamification model to meet students where they are academically, as well as, provide instructional levels and goals through a gamified instructional experience.
"Using Gamification to Teach Foundational Fractions in the Third Grade: Year One,"
Kean Quest: Vol. 3:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kean.edu/keanquest/vol3/iss2/5