Anglia Ruskin University
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Stealth assessment and computer game learning: could this benefit the children of tomorrow?

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posted on 2023-08-30, 17:16 authored by Jonathan Pool
The purpose of this case study was to analyse computer games’ role in assessment and seek an understanding of their role to enhance the level of achievement in schools. Research indicates that achievement levels in mathematics have declined in British schools over recent decades, however, children are being tested more than ever. This research focused on stealth assessment and game-based learning in mathematics, with a further aim to uncover if this is a practical option for assessing achievement and more effective than current methods. Additionally, it examined if computer games could keep children engaged with mathematics and what information teachers can use from game assessments to progress future learning. This study used mixed-methods of research, as both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. The research was carried out in a primary school setting, with participants from a year 5 class and two teachers. An experimental group played the computer game and took part in their regular mathematics lessons, whereas a control group only participated in the mathematics lessons. Observations were used to determine the engagement and motivation levels during the participant’s mathematics lessons and whilst playing the game. Teacher interviews were conducted at the start and end of the week to seek their views on the computer game and stealth assessment. The participants also completed a pre and post-test to see if their achievement had changed over the one-week period. The post-test results showed the experimental group had made greater achievement gains over the week. The observations revealed that the engagement and motivation levels of the experimental group were very high when playing the game, and actually reached higher levels in the mathematics lessons than the control group. However, the teacher revealed that the computer game did not provide enough information to progress the participants’ future learning. The evidence suggests that the computer game had some impact in the experimental groups enhanced achievement levels. Despite this, the teacher stated that the game did not provide enough information and could not be used to progress the learning. Therefore, it is not possible to say at this time whether stealth assessment is a practical method for assessing mathematics. However, this study has shown that computer games can increase achievement levels and increase the engagement and motivation towards mathematics.



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