Designing a Game-based Social Application for Mathematics Education

Toru Fujimoto, Tadashi Misono, Kaoru Takahashi, Yusuke Otuji, Hisashi Suzuki and Yuhei Yamauchi


Addressing learner avoidance of mathematics is a crucial issue in mathematics education. Researchers claim a discontinuance between mathematical thinking in everyday activities and the overall knowledge learned in math classes. Although previous studies have indicated that using digital-based games may be an effective approach for mathematics education, very few applications bridging such discontinuance exist. This research introduces a design scheme and prototype of a game-based application specifically targeting learners who tend to avoid traditional mathematics education. The educational purpose of this game-based application, Treasure & Axis, is to gain knowledge of mathematical vectors and coordinates by navigating a ship toward a treasure on the game map. The playful and interactive activities in the game are based on mathematical knowledge, and the players receive instant feedback that supports their learning during game play. While navigating the ship is the main challenge, it also offers additional learning activities such as math quizzes related to the learner's experience during the game play. The gaming activities and assessment of learning outcomes are coordinated so that the game log data is automatically stored in the database and connected to the learners' profile. This study reports the ongoing formative evaluation of the game prototype and discusses the relevant findings, which may be useful for future researchers interested in studying game-based social media applications for mathematics education.