From here to there! Elementary: a game-based approach to developing number sense and early algebraic understanding

  • Taylyn Hulse
  • Maria Daigle
  • Daniel Manzo
  • Lindsay Braith
  • Avery Harrison
  • Erin OttmarEmail author
Development Article


This paper examines whether using From Here to There! (FH2T:E), a dynamic game-based mathematics learning technology relates to improved early algebraic understanding. We use student log files within FH2T to explore the possible benefits of student behaviors and gamification on learning gains. Using in app measures of student interactions (mouse clicks, resets, errors, problem solving steps, and completions), 19 variables were identified to summarize overall problem solving processes. An exploratory factor analysis identified five clear factors including engagement in problem solving, progress, strategic flexibility, strategic efficiency, and speed. Regression analyses reveal that after accounting for behavior within the app, playing the gamified version of the app contributed to higher learning gains than playing a nongamified version. Next, completing more problems within the game related to higher achievement on the post-test. Third, two significant interactions were found between progress and prior knowledge and engagement in problem solving and prior knowledge, where low performing students gained more when they completed more problems and engaged more with those problems.


Early algebra Game-based learning Math achievement 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant No. R305A110060 to University of Richmond and Indiana University. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education. The authors are also grateful to the many teachers and students who helped make this research possible.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Worcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA

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