Embedding Gestures into Narrative Tutor-games to learn Fractions?!

Michael Swart, Jonathan M. Vitale and John B. Black


Combining gesture and narrative together, the research team designed and developed Mobile Mathematics Movement (M3). Two independent variables, gesture (I vs. D) and narrative (S vs. W), allowed developers to create 4 versions of the tutor-game, M3:i3: SI, SD, WI, WD, where students split objects (i.e., parts-to-whole) schema (Steffe, 2004) and determine equivalency between objects. In the study, students (n=131) from New York City after school programs were randomly assigned to 1 of the 4 conditions and completed parallel pre/post assessments, played all seven levels of the tutor-game, filled out exit surveys and a 7-minute semi-structured clinical interview. Results suggest that particular combinations of gestures and narratives are differentially beneficial to learners of varying proficiencies. This research has significant implications for the design and development of meaningful math games.