The effect of contextual pedagogical advisement and competition on middle-school students' attitude toward mathematics and mathematics instruction using a computer-based simulation game

Many students enter math courses with a poor attitude toward mathematics (Gal & Ginsburg, 1994), making attitude as important a consideration as achievement in mathematics (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (CTGV), 1992; March, Cairns, Relich, Barnes, & Debus, 1984; Sedighian & Sedighian, 1996). Pedagogical agents are often touted for their ability to address affective variables in learning (Moreno, Mayer, Spires, & Lester, 2001; Baylor, 2000), as are games for both attitude and achievement (Baltra, 1990; Fery & Ponserre, 2001; Kent, 1999). However, few studies have examined the effect of combining agents and games, and none has examined their effect on attitude toward mathematics. This study was designed to determine the effect of contextual pedagogical advisement (CPA) and competition on attitude toward mathematics in a computer-based simulation game. A total of 123 seventh-and eighth-grade students were randomly assigned to one of five conditions formed by crossing the two independent variables and adding a control group. Results indicated that contextual pedagogical advisement can result in lower anxiety toward mathematics scores, especially under competitive conditions.

Van Eck, R.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Vol. 25 (2), 165-195.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities