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Work in Progress: Gaming Our Way to Increased Math Self-efficacy and Opening the Gate to STEM Majors

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Construction Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Krishna Prasad Kisi Texas State University Orcid 16x16

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Krishna P. Kisi, holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MS in Construction Management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Tribhuvan University. He has several years of teaching experience at U.S. colleges, universities, and international institutes. He has taught over 15 different construction related courses. He is a registered Professional Engineer at Texas. His research interests includes , construction labor productivity, safety, AI and human performance, AR/VR/MR, and STEM education

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Kimberly Grau Talley P.E. Texas State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Bobcat Made Makerspace Director at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and in Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management and Civil Engineering Technology Programs, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology education. Contact:

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Snigdha Rangineni Texas State University

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Guntulu S. Hatipkarasulu Texas State University


Bobbi J. Spencer Texas State University

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B.J. Spencer, Ph.D.

Dr. Spencer is an Assistant of Professor of Practice and the Construction Science and Management (CSM) Program Coordinator in the Department of Engineering Technology at Texas State University where she focuses on the architectural courses, VDCO, and is the internship coordinator. In 2017, she obtained her Ph.D. in Education from Texas State University with the emphasis on professional education. A registered Architect in the State of Texas, she received a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University in 2007 where she participated in a study abroad semester at the Universita della Svizzera italiana, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, Switzerland following 23 years of industry experience in architecture and construction.

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When a prospective student looks at undergraduate degrees to pursue, they have spent twelve years in the academic setting and have internalized their strengths and weaknesses. Where some might have dreamed of becoming an astronaut, scientist, or architect when they grew up, their academic experience disassociated those dreams from their reality. Some students have identified themselves as being able to be successful, but many still struggle. In STEM degrees, mathematics is a major stumbling block for many students. How many leave their dreams behind and skip over STEM degrees, because they have instilled in their identity their inability to be successful with math? How many students attempt to overcome their mathematical challenges and pursue a STEM degree, but cannot jump the hurdle of math and fail or withdraw? Can gaming in applied mathematical training scenarios make a difference? This work in progress is creating a pilot online game experience for construction students to work through their trepidations of Pre-Calculus that has resulted in a 45-60% DFW rate (the percentage of students who enrolled in the course but earned a D, failed, or withdrew) of students not only in the construction program, but across our campus. While the impact of this research will certainly address the existing dismal 45-60% DFW rate of Pre-Calculus across our campus that needs to be rectified, it is designed with scalability in mind. This project will create varied animation scenarios for students to experience real life situations where they would apply mathematics. Repeated online gaming experiences are expected to address the self-confidence and math self-efficacy of students by exposing them to situations where they would apply mathematics, but in a low-risk environment. This approach takes math out of the conceptual state to an applied form that may address the different learning styles of our diverse student population. This project is intended to be transferable to different locations, disciplines, and could include varied scenarios to be culturally relevant in many settings. This paper shares the current status of these modeled scenarios.

Kisi, K. P., & Talley, K. G., & Rangineni, S., & Hatipkarasulu, G. S., & Spencer, B. J. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Gaming Our Way to Increased Math Self-efficacy and Opening the Gate to STEM Majors Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38164

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