Project Name: MILAGE : Interactive Mathematics by implementing a Blended-Learning model with Augmented Reality and Game books
Project reference: 2015-1-PT01-KA201-012921
Principal Researcher: Mauro Figueiredo
Project Start Date: 1/09/2015
Project End Date: 31/08/2018
Results from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), show that Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey are below the OECD average in mathematics, with a mean performance of 489, 487, 484 and 448 score points.
The countries that show significant improvement in PISA performance – Brazil, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Tunisia and Turkey – are those that manage to reduce the proportion of low-achieving students. In Norway, Portugal and Spain about one out of four students, in Turkey about one out of two students still do not attain the baseline proficiency Level 2 in mathematics.
The PISA report also concludes that “improvement in performance rarely comes at the expense of equity in education”. There are exceptions to this. “Between 2003 and 2012, Poland and Portugal increased the proportion of high performers in mathematics as they simultaneously reduced the proportion of low performers. Improvements in mathematics performance in Mexico, Tunisia and Turkey, all of which scored well below average in their first PISA tests, are observed mainly among low-achieving students. This usually means greater equity of education opportunities in these countries too. “ (OECD, PISA in Focus 2015/01. pp.4).
Regardless the controversy over PISA tests results, this situation calls for actions aiming at improving instruction strategies for teaching and learning mathematics.
The MILAGE-MathematIcs bLended Augmented GamE project is looking for improving mathematical performance and achievements for all students including also those in the PISA share of low achievers and the top performers.
In this project we plan to extend traditional learning environment to a virtual classroom setting that will keep students connected for learning mathematics by the exploration of motivating math tools. Different tools and materials will be explored including (i) a social learning platform to connect students, teachers and parents; (ii) 10th to 12th grade contents on the form of mathematical tasks and its video resolutions; (iii) the use of eBooks and augmented reality technologies; (iv) the exploration of gamification methods and (v) the development of an APP that will be available for smartphones and tablets.
We want to take advantage of mobile devices for teaching and learning. The recent availability of smartphones and tablets with increased processing power and usability, accessible on a large scale, allow an exponential expansion of social and participative web technologies. However, among the countries involved in this project, there are variations in the degree of how much mobile devices are utilised for teaching and learning purposes among teachers and students. It is also important to note that these students are the generation of digital games and social networks. In this context it is wise to consider the integration of digital media and mobile devices (iPad, iPod, tablets, smartphones), allowing students to set personal goals, to manage educational content and to communicate with others in the right context. However, according to the EU Commission initiative Opening Up Education (25 September 2013), between 50% and 80% of students in EU countries never use digital textbooks, exercise software, podcasts, simulations or learning games.
We want to implement an approach for teaching and learning mathematics that will also accommodate gaming mechanics that it is two-fold: complexity and detail. It will have three different levels of problems complexity: beginners, intermediate and advanced. On the other hand each problem will have two levels of explanations/resolutions: detailed and concise.
In this way, all students will be accommodated in a learning environment centered in the student. The low-achieving students that may struggle to learn the materials covered in class, can study and repeat the materials as many times as they may need to learn. Students will have access to complex problems and activities that may provide additional stimulation for top performers students. Teachers will also be more confident to give homework activities to their students. It is known that it is important to assign homework, to help struggling or underachieving students to learn the material covered in class, to ensure that the material is stored in students’ long-term memory, or to provide additional stimulation for high performers. With this project we aim at providing the support so that we can contribute for the improvement of mathematics skills of all students.