UQAM researchers demonstrate the effectiveness of the game Slice Fractions

In particular, they found that it allows Grade 3 students to reach the level of Grade 4 students in understanding fractions after only 3 hours of play!

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In particular, they found that it allows Grade 3 students to reach the level of Grade 4 students in understanding fractions after only 3 hours of play!

Stephane Cyr and Martin Riopel, respectively professors at the Faculty of Science (Department of Mathematics) and the Faculty of Educational Sciences (Department of Didactics) of the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), conducted a study which found that video games Slice Fractions significantly improves student performance in record time.

Slice Fractions offers children from 6 to 12 years old to take on captivating challenges in a colorful and intriguing universe populated by endearing characters. The game is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV, as well as most Android devices.

The study was conducted among 139 Quebec students from 3e year, divided into three groups:
- Group 1: only received traditional instruction in fractions;
- Group 2: played at Slice Fractions in class in addition to having a traditional education;
- Group 3: only played the game Slice Fractions in class.


Amazing results, even for researchers
The students then answered 14 questions about the fractions taken from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), a standardized test used to assess and compare students around the world. The two groups that used Slice Fractions had a larger and more significant performance gain than students who received only traditional instruction, even and especially for a subset of questions that offered no visual support to students. For example, one of the questions was: What fraction is equivalent to 2/3? The choice of answers given included only text, no visual reference. For researchers, this shows that students were able to transfer their learning, even for abstract notions, while Slice Fractions is a game essentially based on manipulation, procedures and visual representations.


Learn at full speed
Another unexpected element of this study is how quickly the game improves understanding of fractions. “Three hours of play in class were enough to allow our subjects to 3e year to achieve a level of performance comparable to that of students of 4e year of the United States and Quebec ”, notes Martin Riopel, co-researcher of the study. The gain is therefore achieved in record time when compared to that of usual classroom teaching and gives children who use the game a head start.


In addition to being effective, the game designed by Ululab, a company set up by graduates of UQAM's Faculty of Education, stands out for the excellence of its design, as evidenced by the prestigious awards Editor's Choice and Best of 2014 from the Apple App Store.

On the occasion of the unveiling of the results of this study, Ululab announces a major update of Slice Fractions, featuring 32 new levels of additions, a redesigned navigation interface and compatibility with the latest edition of Apple TV, from Apple.

More details and results in this video summary three minutes.


Source: press release

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