The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the education system, with schools and universities closed or operating at reduced capacity. This has resulted in many students being forced to adapt to online learning and missing out on traditional face-to-face teaching methods. In response, educators and researchers have been exploring ways to support student learning during this challenging time. 

The study  “Is solving more problems in DragonBox Algebra 12+ associated with higher mathematical performance during the COVID-19 pandemic?” has caught the attention of educators and parents alike. The study was published by researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester in Massachusetts, United States and focuses on DragonBox Algebra 12+, (now known as Kahoot! Algebra 2 by DragonBox) the popular mobile game designed to teach children algebraic concepts. DragonBox Algebra 12+ uses a fun and engaging approach to help children understand basic algebraic principles, including the use of variables and equations. 

The researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute aimed to investigate whether playing this game could improve students’ mathematical performance during the COVID-19 pandemic when many students were learning from home.

The study involved 253 American students in 7th grade who were asked to play nine sessions of DragonBox Algebra 12+ for 30 minutes with intervention sessions during a two-week window to complete each. The students were also asked to complete a pre-test and post-test, which evaluated their mathematical performance. 

The study found that: 

  • Students with higher prior algebraic knowledge, solving more problems in DragonBox Algebra 12+ is related to higher algebraic performance after gameplay.
  • Students who make more in-game progress also have higher mathematics achievement, especially for students with lower prior achievement.
  • Students who spend more time playing DragonBox Algebra 12+ make more in-game progress; their demographic, prior knowledge and prior achievement are not related to in-game progress.

Many students have experienced a learning loss due to the negative impacts associated with educational disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the learning loss, the research found a positive effect of in-game progress, suggesting that playing the DragonBox Algebra 12+ game may have mitigated the decrease in students’ mathematics achievement, and especially among students with lower mathematics achievement.

While the study’s findings are promising, it is important to note that playing DragonBox Algebra 12+ alone may not be enough to improve mathematical performance. The research concludes that “dedicating time and encouraging students to play DragonBox Algebra 12+ may help them make more in-game progress, and in turn, support math learning.

By making learning fun and engaging, games like DragonBox Algebra 12+ can help students continue to learn and develop important skills, even in challenging circumstances. Educators and parents should consider incorporating such platforms into their teaching methods to support students’ learning and development.

We are thrilled to see the impact of DragonBox Algebra 12+ among students. These results give us an extra boost of motivation to keep developing innovative and engaging products that transform the learning experience of students. We are very thankful to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute for selecting DragonBox Algebra 12+ as one of the educational technologies on algebraic understanding for their research. 

DragonBox Algebra 12+ is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and is available in 13 languages.