Is Digital Game-Based Learning Possible in Mathematics Classrooms?: A Study of Teachers' Beliefs

Is Digital Game-Based Learning Possible in Mathematics Classrooms?: A Study of Teachers' Beliefs

Ljerka Jukic Matic, Myrto Karavakou, Marianthi Grizioti
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.323445
Article PDF Download
Open access articles are freely available for download
Add to Your Personal Library: Article


The literature reports that while digital educational games are used in the elementary classroom, they are rarely, if ever, used in the upper secondary mathematics classroom. In order to investigate this situation, a survey was conducted to determine what upper secondary school mathematics teachers think about digital games and what obstacles and limitations they perceive in using DGBL as a teaching approach. The results indicate that mathematics teachers view digital games as a useful teaching tool; however, the lack of knowledge about teaching with digital games and shortage of appropriate games for teaching upper secondary mathematics seems to discourage them from using them as a main teaching tool. These findings imply that professional development should be designed with a focus on teacher training. Furthermore, the development of constructionist-based games should be considered, where games are based on meaning-making rather than practicing mathematical content, as has previously been the case.
Article Preview

Theoretical Background

Digital Educational Games and DGBL

This section distinguishes between educational or serious games, entertainment games, and gamification in order to explain the authors’ stance on the position of digital educational games, as despite their similarities, these terms are not interchangeable. Digital games, also called video games or computer games, are played on a computer, game console, smartphone, or tablet (Fadda et al., 2022). Educational games combine learning with gameplay (Hussein et al., 2022). To distinguish them from entertainment games, in the gaming industry educational games are referred to as serious games. Serious games often use graphical simulations of reality to meet learning or training goals for a specific stakeholder or user group (Martens & Muller, 2016). However, serious games may also be designed for purposes other than education, such as behaviour change or therapy. Thus, two terms came to existence: applied games and educational games. Because the applied game does not necessarily teach (e.g., applied games may be used for healthcare), we will use the term digital educational game for games used in an educational context where the intention is to learn rather than to have fun. The term gamification describes the utilization of game design elements in non-game contexts (Deterding et al., 2011). Gamification is often limited to points, badges, levels, and leader boards. Some scholars view gamification more broadly. For instance, Chou (2019) identifies eight core drives—epic meaning, accomplishment, empowerment, ownership, social influence, scarcity, unpredictability, and avoidance—that can be found in various games. These drives may inspire the gamification of other activities. This paper examines the use of digital educational games as opposed to the use of gamification. DGBL is seen as a student-centred approach in which educational goals and content are incorporated into games to encourage students to learn and advance their knowledge and skills by providing an engaging learning environment.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Volume 13: 1 Issue (2023)
Volume 12: 4 Issues (2022): 1 Released, 3 Forthcoming
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2021)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2020)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2019)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2011)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing