Publications & Resources

Identifying Common Mathematical Misconceptions From Actions in Educational Video Games

Mar 2014

Deirdre Kerr

Educational video games provide an opportunity for students to interact with and explore complex representations of academic content and allow for the examination of problem-solving strategies and mistakes that can be difficult to capture in more traditional environments. However, data from such games are notoriously difficult to analyze. This study used a three-step process to examine mistakes students make while playing an educational video game about the identification of fractions. First, cluster analysis was used to identify common misconceptions in the game. Second, a survey was given to determine if the identified in-game misconceptions represented real-world misconceptions. Third, a second educational video game was analyzed to determine whether the same misconceptions would be identified in both games. Results indicate that the in-game misconceptions identified in this study represented real-world misconceptions and demonstrate that similar misconceptions can be found in different representations.

Kerr, D. (2014). Identifying common mathematical misconceptions from actions in educational video games (CRESST Report 838). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).