Engaging student learning via a number puzzle game (Prime Hunter Game)

Benny Lam
Game Education
Hong Kong SAR, China

In the real world, one of the very natural ways of acquiring knowledge in a domain is to be immerged in a situation related to that domain. This mode of acquisition (the learning by doing) is difficult to implement for learning mathematics.

Nowadays more and more educators and researches indicated that engaging students in mathematical learning via computer game can have a positive impact on students' learning.

Two approaches in making game for learning, namely The Instructionist and The Constructionist as coined by Dr. Kafai, Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, were introduced in this paper.

An important branch in mathematics is number theory of which the study of Prime number has drawn much attention. Investigation and hunting of prime number has long been an intellectual activity pursued by many mathematicians (e.g. Euclid, Fermat and Gauss) since ancient Greek.

In this paper, the author described the design of a number puzzle game (Prime Hunter Game) for motivating student to learn about prime number, which was designed by both Instructionist and Constructionist approaches. The author considered that the Constructionist approach will be more important in future and it is time to re-think what will be a better approach for educational game.