Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Track C: Computer Games for Maths Support

TRACK C - 1+1=3 The Added Value of Computer Games in HE Maths Support.
Presenters: Julie Kevill (Maths, Stats and Numeracy coordinator) and Hayo Reinders (Head of LDU).

Hayo started the session by pointing out that although the computer games industry is huge, the use of games in teaching and learning is limited. He dispelled the myths that games were for males and the young; and referred to recent statistics that indicated 46% of females play computer games and that the most popular users of computer games were people in their 30s.

When Julie took over the presentation she revealed that students with very low maths skills were more likely to be unemployed. She also referred us to the low results of the LDP (Learner Development Profile) for maths and the need to address maths and numeracy skills at MU.

We were then invited to try out the interactive maths computer game; Manga High which Julie explained was free, available over the Internet and at differentiated levels. At the end of the session, we evaluated Manga High.

As a learning tool for students, there is the opportunity for students to review questions and see the correct answers, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. Students also have access to different maths topics and can have fun learning maths. Manga High could also be very useful for revision as there are thousands of questions, and time limits are set on challenges.

The ability for teachers to set global levels for their student cohort and compare results within and outside their departments makes Manga High an ideal teaching tool. Manga High also enables teachers to compare their student results with the national average.

My feedback:
I felt the two presenters were absolutely fantastic and were in control of the session despite technical difficulties with the projector. The sessions were well facilitated and I personally learnt a great deal about the potential of Manga High as a combined learning and teaching tool for maths. Thanks for organising the sessions.

Simbo Ajayi
Peer Assisted Learning Manager
Learner Development Unit (LDU)
Middlesex University

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