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E-learning and digital games: the potential contribution to mathematics education in Saudi Arabia

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posted on 2023-01-18, 16:48 authored by Hanaa Abdulrahim Yamani
Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, La Trobe University, Bundoora.

Digitally inclined young people surround themselves with new technologies. The effect of this on society is profound and creates challenges for policies in business, commerce and education. The integration of information and communications technology (ICT) in classroom settings is of vital importance for the kinds of future citizens needed. One learning method to emerge is elearning through digital games. However, in the context of Saudi Arabia, teachers face complexities when using e-learning material, and digital games are still largely absent from Saudi classrooms. This research focused on third generation e-learning—specifically, the use of digital games. To familiarise Saudi students with the use of digital games, a combination of e-learning materials with digital games was employed in mathematics classes. Using a mixed-methods approach, the research consisted of two main sequential phases. Phase One relied on quantitative methods, including an ICT survey, pre-test and post-test. Phase Two employed a qualitative approach consisting of semi-structured interviews and field notes. Due to the gender segregation in Saudi education, this research was conducted in schools for girls. A total of 111 female students voluntarily participated from two primary schools—one public and one private. In both schools, the study involved grade six students. An experimental design was employed to answer the research questions. The quantitative results indicated that the control groups and experimental groups had the same mathematics knowledge before the experiment was conducted. However, the results of the post-test revealed that there was a significant improvement in mathematics achievement among those students who were taught with the new method instead of the traditional method. These findings offer the first indication of the effects of e-learning and digital games as new teaching approaches on students’ academic performance in mathematics education in Saudi Arabia. The conclusion from this study is that e-learning in the form of digital gaming pedagogy is an effective tool for enhancing students’ mathematics knowledge, compared to traditional teaching methods, in Saudi primary schools. In order to harness the power of e-learning and digital games in mathematics education in Saudi primary schools, some recommendations and suggestions for future research are part of this study’s outcomes.


Center or Department

Faculty of Science and Technology. Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


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