INTEGRATING ICT WITH EDUCATION: USING COMPUTER GAMES TO ENHANCE LEARNING MATHEMATICS AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
Keywords:ICT, educational computer games, discrete mathematics
Integration of ICT in the education sector is a desired trend globally. Where it has been adopted, it contributes significantly to increased access to education for all (EFA). This research seeks to look into ways in which computer games as ICT tools can be used to enhance and promote quality teaching and learning; particularly in creating and sustaining interest in the teaching and learning of Functions, a topic taught in mathematics courses such as Discrete Mathematics, Real Analysis and Calculus, among others. At Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya, the topic is introduced to students of Mathematics and those of Computer Science in first year Discrete Mathematics. A computer game was developed using Full Professional Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro. The game is designed in five levels in line with the progression of functions subject content. A minimum score of 60% for each level was built in the game to ensure the player has a good grip of the content for a certain level before moving on to the next level, thus contributing to guided revision of the level with fun. After game development, it was availed to ten first year Bachelor of Science in Mathematics students taking discreet Mathematics course at the Taita Taveta Campus of JKUAT. The students were in their second semester academic year 2009/2010. Analysis of end of the semester examinations results show that students who played the game had better performance than their counterparts who had not. Recommendations for further work as advancement of this research is development of a more advanced game in terms of adaptation of the game for use in teaching and learning other Mathematics topics considered to be boring, or difficulty or both and ultimately for purposes of promoting universal quality of university teaching.