This Research Project is financed by regional authority Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and actually named Impact of a videogame about learning fractions on children with and without learning disability: neuro-cognitive and didactic aspects led by Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, FRA.
The goal of this research is to assess the impact of the use of a didactic videogame about learning fractions in primary school.
It is part of a new area of research integrating cognitive science (psychology and neuroscience) and didactic knowledge with the aim of understanding and improving school learning.
The research is broken down into three specific objectives.
- The first one is the evaluation of the impact of the videogame on learning fractions and on the brain functions of typically developing children from all social backgrounds, playing the game in their families.
- The second specific objective is the evaluation of the impact of the videogame on learning fractions in children with deep learning difficulties in mathematics (dyscalculia, for example). The children are from all social backgrounds and play the game in their families.
- The third specific objective is the evaluation of the impact of the videogame on learning fractions in children who play the game in class, within a learning sequence constructed by the teacher.
Regarding the two first objectives, studies will start in October 2018, managed by a specifically recruited PhD-student in cognitive psychology.
As for the third one, sucha study started in September 2017 with a diagnostic test to evaluate competencies and knowledge on fractions for kids aged 10 to 12 (Cycle 3) with first in-class experiments. The first results prove to be very interesting especially in terms of class engagement for kids. The teachers feel very satisfied by the impact on their class’ behaviour.
It seems that gaming, as part of a learning sequence prepared by a teacher, enables a better understanding of several aspects of fractions (e.g. place or identify a fraction on a (semi-)graduated line, etc.). These first results will have to be confirmed and completed through experimentation. This will take place in a new study to start in September 2018 around a methodology comparing two groups of pupils, one “experimental” (using game as part of the learning process) and one « control » (no game).
Lecturer in Didactics applied to Mathematics, ISC (CNRS)
Institute of Cognitive Science Marc Jeannerod – Brain Behavior and Learning Lab