Education in Mathematics in Game-based Immersive Contexts Erasmus Project

General information for the Education in Mathematics in Game-based Immersive Contexts Erasmus Project

Education in Mathematics in Game-based Immersive Contexts Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Education in Mathematics in Game-based Immersive Contexts

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: ICT – new technologies – digital competences; Early School Leaving / combating failure in education; Key Competences (incl. mathematics and literacy) – basic skills

Project Summary

E-MaGIC was a project that gathered teachers, programmers and researchers from Portugal, Germany, Greece and Italy, sponsored by the Portuguese Erasmus+ Education and Training National Agency. This multidisciplinary consortium consisting of a software development company and teachers from different backgrounds and know-how, developed a cutting-edge educative game for mobile devices named Clash of Wizardry (available for free on Google Play https://bit.ly/2YkQNWW and on Apple App Store https://apple.co/34WXQHF) complemented by an innovative teaching approach which can help teachers support the training of mathematics skills of their students. The approach can be used both formally and informally to help improve school achievements and enable success, to promote inclusion (the game can adapt to the student’s skills) and to inspire students to become interested in science and maths.
The consortium partners were:
Gabinete de Modernização das Tecnologias Educativas from Direção Regional de Educação (GMTE-DRE) – Funchal, Portugal. The GMTE office develops, implements and coordinates ICT educational projects in Madeira schools. Belonging to the regional public body DRE, its major asset is to have access to schools (either formally or informally) where the project has been implemented and disseminated, having direct feedback from students and teachers.
Ingenious Knowledge (Cologne, Germany) is a small company founded in 2010 that develops software tools and an innovator in game-based learning, being heavily involved in education research cooperating with universities worldwide. One of its main strengths is creating next generation serious games with the aim of making games that are good enough to compete with commercial entertainment games. The company was the project’s game concept designer and software developer.
E.E.G. Acharnon (Athens, Greece) is a secondary school of special and vocational education for students aged 12 to 17 who have cognitive disorders and severe learning difficulties. This partner paid special attention to making the game usable and attractive to disadvantaged learners and made sure that the learning results were worthwhile.
I.I.S. Leonardo da Vinci-Nitti (Potenza, Italy) technical and vocational secondary school has been active in developing new digital educational approaches. The school provided a testing ground and involved students with different profiles in evaluating this new approach in cooperation with the University of Salerno.
The E-MaGIC project checked data from national and international reports which confirmed that mathematics is the common subject in which students have low achievements due to severe lack of basic skills and motivation. It was also found that the adverse maths social stigma has a general negative emotional impact on students though having enough skills (with greater or lesser difficulty) to effectively solve any given exercise / calculation / problem. Consequently, the question has arisen: how does this happen if scientifically validated maths curricula are being applied by qualified teachers? The answer seems to be that teaching focuses on explaining and many teachers feel like the curriculum doesn’t allow them enough time to simply train calculations with their students. In many cases the lack of calculation skills also leads to difficulties in understanding the mathematical thoughts that teachers try to convey. That is, students don’t feel a connection with the curricular contents which is reflected in their lack of motivation for maths and subsequent low achievements. These outcomes contrast greatly with the European Union proclaimed goals for its 2020 strategy. So, the consortium concluded that to meet the actual needs of our students, teachers need proper teaching tools, methodologies and strategies that can motivate students without neglecting the scientific value and content quality. Promoting their motivation to learn and study maths is essential for enabling them to follow scientific careers in STEM where graduates are needed.
The major contribution from the E-MaGIC project was the creation of a game to train basic maths skills that can find its way into the personal space of students by running on their smartphones and tablets. Based on our initial research we developed the game and tested it with students. Their overall feedback was very good because the fun element (winning magic duels) is intrinsically connected to the learning element (solving equations). The game never forces students to progress to harder maths, but by offering more powerful spell effects with harder equations it tempts students to go beyond their limits. Thus, our students are not forced to learn new skills, however they quickly understand that by practicing their maths skills they will obtain better results, progressing in the ranking and earning bragging rights, making the game more challenging and fun.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 228821,5 Eur

Project Coordinator

Direção Regional de Educação & Country: PT

Project Partners

  • Ingenious Knowledge GmbH
  • EIDIKO EPAGGELMATIKO GYMNASIO ACHARNON (ex TEE Acharnon School of Special Education -A degree)
  • IIS “L. da Vinci – Nitti”