Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Sally Evans, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Eileen St. John, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Kallen Dace, Ed.D.


game-based learning, low-income, Title 1, mathematics


The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate game-based learning, using a computer game system as a supplementary tool in math for elementary students in a low-income Title 1 school. The research question asked, “What are the effects of a game-based learning supplemental instruction on math achievement of Title 1 students?” The null hypothesis was rejected for all five hypotheses. Dreambox is a research-based computer game system that is aligned according to various curricula needs to meet the fourth-grade standards. Four fourth-grade classes, two classes each, were divided into a comparative group and an experiential group. Both the groups were administered the Test of Mathematical Ability-3 pretest. The experiential group received treatment via a computer game system for a seven-week period; whereas, the comparative group received instructions through traditional approaches. Both the groups were given Test of Mathematical Ability-3 as a pre- and post-test. They were tested in (a) mathematical symbols and concepts, (b) math computation, (c) math in everyday life, and (d) math word problem-solving. The independent t-test was used to compare the mean of the pre- and post-test scores of the groups on the afore-mentioned four subtests. The results indicated the experiential group exceeded the comparative group in all four areas: (a) Recognizing mathematical symbols, Subtest 1, experiential group: M = 3.20, SD = 2.02; comparative group: M = .60, SD = 2.79); (b) math computation, Subtest 2, experiential group: M = 3.58, SD = 2.30; comparative group: M = 1.70, SD = 1.87); (c) math in everyday life, Subtest 3, experiential group: M = 3.73, SD = 1.83; comparative group: M = .95, SD = 3.15); and (d) math word problem-solving, Subtest 4: experiential group: M = 3.68, SD = 1.85; comparative group: M = 1.40, SD = 6.42). The difference in improvement between the comparative group and experiential group demonstrated that game-based learning had the potential to benefit students academically. In addition, game-based treatment helped students in the experiential group to develop a positive attitude toward math. Utilizing game instruction as a supplement proves advantageous and helps to promote learning and positive attitudes for students of math.

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