Different aspects of fraction understanding are associated selectively with performance on a fraction learning game

Georgios Thoma, Julia Bahnmueller, Antero Lindstedt, Kristian Kiili, Silke M. Wortha, Korbinian Moeller, Manuel Ninaus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Fraction understanding seems a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is an important predictor of later mathematical achievement. On the other hand, it is also one of the topics students struggle most in secondary math education. To complement traditional instruction, digital learning games were developed and found to successfully foster fraction understanding. However, so far, it is not known to what degree different aspects of fraction understanding (e.g., part-whole relations, fraction magnitude, fraction arithmetic) may be conveyed by such games. The current study evaluated selective associations of in-game performance of the fraction learning game Semideus with specific aspects of fraction understanding assessed using a comprehensive paper-pencil test. In Semideus, seventh graders (Mage = 12.3 years) from academic track secondary schools in Germany estimated the location of fractions on a number line and compared fractions according to their magnitude. Results replicated previous findings showing that in-game performance was significantly associated with mathematics achievement (i.e., math grades) and basic, whole number arithmetic skills. Moreover, we observed significant associations for aspects of fraction understanding closely matching mechanics of the learning game such as fraction number line estimation, fraction magnitude comparison and fraction ordering. These associations were observed for accuracy on the game's fraction learning tasks (e.g., estimation accuracy on the number line) but also generalized to game-based metrics such as virtual incentives (i.e., stars awarded in the game). This implies that the actual game mechanic may help to convey aspects of fraction understanding, substantiating ideas of intrinsic integration in game design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGame-Based Learning in Education and Health - Part A
EditorsFlavia H. Santos
ISBN (Print)78-0-323-99458-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Development
  • Fraction assessment
  • Fraction understanding
  • Intrinsic integration
  • Learning game

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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