Exploring Gamification for Reinforcing Geometrical Concepts and Skills at the Primary Level in Trinidad: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study
Though games have had popular use in primary schools over time, there is increased interest in using elements of gaming in the classroom to promote motivation and thinking skills. This paper reports on a mixed methods intervention pilot study in one primary school in Trinidad that explored the effects of a gamified classroom on reinforcing geometric concepts and skills. Familiar learning tools, like tangrams and origami, were used. A non-equivalent control group mixed method design was used with both groups taking the pre- and post-tests. Only the experimental group used the gamified activities. Qualitative data were obtained from the experimental group teacher’s interview and observational notes, and analysed to reveal three interpretive themes about students’ perspectives: favourable, unfavourable and change. Overall, students reported that games made mathematics easier to remember. The teacher reported high student engagement, collaborative problem solving, and respectful competition among teams. Quantitative data were obtained from a pre/post achievement test. Analyses reveal significant differences in the experimental group’s pre-test and post-test scores. Results from the pilot study were instrumental in developing the gamification approach for the larger study of 10 primary schools.