Received: 10 July 2017
Accepted: 1 October 2017
A computer game for teaching and learning algebra topics at
División de Estudios de Posgrado,
Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca,
Facultad de Ciencias de la Computación,
Universidad del Istmo, Oaxaca, México
Ivan García, División de Estudios de
Posgrado, Universidad Tecnológica de la
Mixteca, Oaxaca, México.
Technology is increasingly changing the way that engineering students are taught. In
recent years, we have witnessed a significant growth in using computer game
technologies for teaching and learning in different engineering fields and contexts.
This approach offers the ability to create complex and highly interactive scenarios
with a solid theoretical basis to teach material in new and highly interactive ways.
This paper introduces the application of the game-based learning approach and
instructional designfor creating a 2D computer game in order to support mathematics
teaching and learning in the first-year of an undergraduate engineering course.
Additionally, an experiment was conducted on a Computer and Electronic
Engineering course to evaluate the effects of the proposed game by following the
“competency-based learning” approach on students with sequential and global
learning styles. The results showed that the computer game increased the learning
experience and motivation of global learners when learning mathematical topics.
algebra, computer game, engineering education, game-based learning, instructional design
From early attempts to incorporate educational technologies
at different universities around the world, teachers and
researchers have developed alternative teaching strategies to
enable knowledge transition. However, getting “digital
native” students to focus their attention on complex areas
of study, such as mathematics, is becoming increasingly
difficult [11,25]. Furthermore, the lack of creativity in
teaching mathematics is one of the factors that can lead to
boredom and a loss of interest in the subject. Teachers
are currently working hard to educate a new generation
of engineering students using old methods, incorporat-
ing tools that are no longer effective and providing
knowledge (information, concepts, relationships, and so on)
using only speech without interaction among students [51,18].
According to , students belonging to the new generation
of engineers demand the use of technology in advancing their
learning by changing traditional passive learning methodolo-
gies to active multisensory experimental learning methodol-
ogies. In this context, some studies have reported the
effectiveness of educational computer games in enhancing
the engineering student's learning interest and motivation
within contexts where learning methods were once tradi-
tional. This has been achieved by incorporating classes
focused on student interaction and by having teachers act
as coaches and mentors in a more constructive manner
(e.g., [37,10]). The Game-Based Learning (GBL) ap-
proach [39,14], for example, has been considered an effective
method in significantly improving the motivation and
attention of students through the learning process in different
areas of learning such mathematics [4,54]. However,
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. wileyonlinelibrary.com/cae Comput Appl Eng Educ. 2018;26:326–340.