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From theories to game mechanics: Developing a game for training rational numbers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2017
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218562
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


Period1/01/00 → …


The paper reports the results from an ongoing project that aims to develop an engaging and effective digital game for training conceptual rational number knowledge. The overall research approach is design science. In the paper we report the results of an iteration in which we studied how students used a Semideus School game prototype and how they experienced the core mechanics of the game. 20 fourth graders and 32 sixth graders played Semideus School game for approximately 2.5 hours. Students were allowed to freely play the game with their iPads. Playing experience was studied with a digital questionnaire that included items about flow experience (Flow Short Scale), perceived playability, and acceptance of game-based math training. Additionally, a researcher observed the playing sessions and discussed with the students about the implementation of the game. Students experienced reasonable high flow experience while playing the game. The results revealed that 4th graders would be more willing to study rational numbers with a game and they also appreciated the playability of the game more than sixth graders. Moreover, sixth graders demanded more complex game mechanics, but 4th graders were happy with the core mechanics. We redesigned the game mechanics based on the findings. The paper describes the new mechanics and the theoretical basis of the new design.


  • Game design, Game mechanic, Game-based learning, Mathematics, Playing experience, Rational numbers

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland