This research involves the development and testing of an educational computer game. The game, called Numbeat, is designed to facilitate the acquisition of arithmetic skills (+, -, x, ÷) by building on counting skills and developing an intuitive mathematics sense. The game is designed to assist children work their way through the hierarchy of skills that underlies basic arithmetic operations (e.g., counting needs to be mastered before addition problems should be attempted), by ensuring that players have mastered basic level skills before being allowed to progress to the next level of the game and so tackle higher order problems. Another unique feature of Numbeat is that the mathematical tasks involved in the game are structured in such a way as to be the fun element of the game. Other maths games on the market separate the maths tasks from the fun elements, which threatens motivation to continue with the game, or at least engage with the mathematical elements.
A trial of Numbeat is currently under way in five primary schools in metropolitan Perth, funded by a grant from the Association of Independent Schools WA (AISWA).
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