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Evaluation of the Maths Arcade initiative at five U.K. universities

Evaluation of the Maths Arcade initiative at five U.K. universities

Rowlett, Peter, Webster, Kingsley, Bradshaw, Noel-Ann and Hind, James (2019) Evaluation of the Maths Arcade initiative at five U.K. universities. The Mathematics Enthusiast, 16 (1). ISSN 1551-3440 (Online)

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The Maths Arcade is a regular, optional drop-in session to play strategy games and puzzles, taking place at a range of U.K. universities. The main aims are to support students, create a maths-themed staff-student community and develop mathematical thinking through strategy game-play. At some universities, the Maths Arcade has additional aims, including motivating curricular work, linking to peer assisted learning and promoting cross-disciplinary interaction.

The games used are strategy games with simple rules which have no explicit link to mathematics but appeal to logical thinking. The games and activities typically used at a Maths Arcade are described and an example of a deep investigation is given as a case study.

An evaluation of the Maths Arcade at five U.K. universities was completed by distributing a questionnaire to attenders and non-attenders. Students who attend more sessions were more likely to report making friends at the Arcade, and a majority of students said that staff presence is helpful and they would like staff to attend more often, results which support the aim of creating a mathematical community. Students report liking the games, and those who attend more often are more likely to prefer games that are more open to analysis, supporting the aim to develop mathematical thinking through analysis of gameplay. Negative feedback focused mostly on practicalities, including quality of advertising and scheduling of Maths Arcade sessions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maths arcade; Strategy games; Mathematical thinking; Student engagement
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CAM)
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2018 12:59
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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