Proceedings of The 3rd International Academic Conference on Education
The Conquest of Arithmea: A Game-Based Approach to learning BODMAS
Owais Bin Asad, Isbah Premjee, Imaara Zulfiqar Ali, Ubaidullah Jamal, Daniyal Ahmad Siddiqui, Javeria Samad and Humaira Qureshi
“The Conquest of Arithmea” is a newly-created, role-playing board game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, which puts the players into the fictitious world of Arithmea, where they navigate the land with the help of the narrator – “Ziphius The Wise”, to fight battles and defeat the evil – “Ivan The Terrible”. Each battle is a math problem that teaches a different aspect of the BODMAS rule. The game has a narrative style to effectively deliver the standards of mathematics as set by The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which include thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. Thirteen participants of 5th grade, both male and female, between the ages of 10-12 were included in the study. Players’ confidence, correctness and motivation was assessed through a pre-game and a post-game questionnaire. Participants were timed by the narrator at the start and end points during the game to assess improvement. The results indicated that the participants, post-game, showed an overall confidence of 84% in solving questions. Their motivation-level jumped from 69% to 92% and correctness increased to 33 out of 39 (post-game) versus 25 out of 39 (pre-game). However, the game did not have any significant impact on the time it took to solve arithmetic equations. Eighty-one percent of the players favored game-based learning over traditional methods demonstrating that incorporating such methods generates interest and improves learning. Recommendations for improving the game included adding more interactive elements which allow multiple players to strategize together, and offering it in the form of an app for online playing.
Keywords: pedagogy, gamification, arithmetic, teaching, role-play.