Η εργασία παρουσιάζει τα αποτελέσματα πιλοτικού προγράμματος για τη διδασκαλία ενοτήτων του μαθήματος των Μαθηματικών σε μαθητές της Δ΄ τάξης του δημοτικού με τη χρήση ηλεκτρονικών εκπαιδευτικών παιχνιδιών. Τα παιχνίδια κατασκευάστηκαν από τον εκπαιδευτικό της τάξης χρησιμοποιώντας το πρόγραμμα κατασκευής τρισδιάστατων παιχνιδιών Kodu Game Lab της Microsoft. Για να είναι δυνατή η σύγκριση των μαθησιακών αποτελεσμάτων, συγκροτήθηκαν δύο επιπλέον ερευνητικές ομάδες. Στην πρώτη οι μαθητές εργάστηκαν ομαδικά, ενώ στη δεύτερη η διδασκαλία έγινε καθαρά συμβατικά. Ερευνητικά δεδομένα συλλέχθηκαν με ερωτηματολόγια και φύλλα αξιολόγησης. Από την ανάλυσή τους προκύπτει ότι η ομάδα των μαθητών που χρησιμοποίησε τα παιχνίδια ξεπέρασε, στις περισσότερες περιπτώσεις, την ομάδα που διδάχθηκε συμβατικά, αλλά όχι την ομάδα όπου οι μαθητές εργάστηκαν ομαδικά. Οι απόψεις των μαθητών για τα παιχνίδια ήταν ιδιαίτερα θετικές. Τα αποτελέσματα οδηγούν στην ανάγκη περαιτέρω διερεύνησης του θέματος, εξετάζοντας παράλληλα, τη δυνατότητα ένταξης των εκπαιδευτικών παιχνιδιών για τη διδασκαλία των μαθηματικών στο δημοτικό σχολείο.
The study presents the results of a pilot project in which digital games were used for teaching units from the mathematics' course to fourth-grade primary school students. In general, Mathematics is not an easy teaching subject; students do face quite a lot of problems. On the other hand, digital games are highly compatible to students' mentality and skills. Indeed, the relevant literature suggests multiple benefits for students when using digital games for teaching a wide range of learning subjects, Mathematics included. By exploring and experimenting in the game students can discover useful mathematical relations and strategies, and learn new concepts and rules. The development of mathematics-related skills, problem-solving skills, understanding of abstract mathematical concepts, increase in students’ motivation as well as their interest in the subject matter of Mathematics, and the improvement of communication and collaboration between students and teachers were also reported. On the other hand, the educational potential of digital games with regard to Mathematics is still understudied. Having that in mind, a pilot project was designed and implemented having as a target group fourth-grade primary school students (ages 9-10). The units that were selected were related to decimal and compound numbers. The teaching method was based on constructivism and specifically on Driver- Oldham's teaching model. The games were developed by the class's teacher using Microsoft's Kodu Game Lab. The learning outcomes were compared to two other groups of students. In the first, students worked in groups, while in the second, the teaching was conventional. A total of 63 students participated in the study and the project lasted for four two-hour sessions (for each group of students). The main research question was whether the use of digital games for teaching the previously mentioned subjects yields better learning outcomes compared to other more conventional teaching methods. The attitude of students towards the digital games, as well as the time needed for their development, were also examined. Research data were collected using questionnaires and evaluation sheets. Results indicated that the students in the games group outperformed, in most cases, the students that were taught conventionally, but not the students who worked in groups. The views of students for the games was highly positive and no problems were reported. Also, the time needed for the development of the games raised questions whether an amateur (as was the teacher who developed the games) can cope with such a task. Although the results are in agreement with previous studies that indicated that conventional teaching is not an effective method, they also emphasize the need to further investigate the use of digital games. It is also suggested that the integration of educational games for teaching mathematics in primary school can be considered. For that matter, software engineers have to develop easier-to-use tools for the development of games. More importantly, there is the need to change the educational system by providing support to teachers that want to use innovative methods during their teaching.