Gamification in education: improving elementary mathematics through engagement in hybrid learning in the classroom

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July, 2015.
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The study of mathematics is essential in the education of an individual because it serves as the basis of science and engineering fields. Thus, knowledge in mathematics play effectual role in national development. In spite of this merit and numerous significances chalked by the study of mathematics, Ghana seems to suffer from student failure in mathematics both in the Basic Education Certificate Examination and the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. According to research, general absenteeism on the part of teachers and students, lack of interest of students in the study of mathematics, lack of instructional materials, and lack of educational interventions that could help engage students in the study of mathematics are some of the causes of student failure in the study of mathematics. Based on these findings, the researcher adopted gamification framework as an intervention that can facilitate teaching and learning of at the basic level. The study employed the qualitative research design. Participant observation and interviews were used to collect and analyse data in the classroom environment of one primary school in Kumasi and also to evaluate the efficacy of the gamification framework as an intervention to improve interest and performance among lower primary pupils. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were adopted to sample 125 lower primary pupils and three (3) lower primary teachers as respondents. The introduction of gamification and blended learning into the classroom encouraged active, participatory and collaborative learning by engaging pupils in the study of mathematics. This intervention changed the classroom dynamics and fostered new teaching and learning approaches. The introduction of this gamification model also boosted pupil-teacher interactivity, turned the pupils into motivated active learners, and iii increased the level of pupils’ engagement in learning mathematics. The study has reveal that there is a high potential of using gamification as an intervention to augment t he traditional teaching methods used in the teaching of mathematics in primary schools with the end objective of increasing the level of pupil engagement, motivation and interaction in the classroom lessons and also making the teaching and learning of mathematics enjoyable in Ghanaian primary schools.
A thesis submitted to the Department of General Art Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Art Education.