Paoze Lee

Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael Grant


Students across the nation struggle with learning mathematics for a variety of reasons such as the abstract nature, there is only one correct answer and how math is foundational. With the recent increase in the use of digital programs, school districts across the nation have turned to digital math programs for math intervention and learning. School district leaders must weigh costs, effectiveness, and teacher perceptions. Eighty-seven percent of the third grade students at Reyes Elementary nearly met or did not meet California math standards, prompting the school to adopt Imagine Math. The purpose of this research was to evaluate if Imagine Math can affect students’ knowledge. The two research questions were (1) what is the effect of the Imagine Math program on students’ math knowledge and (2) what are teachers’ perceptions of using Imagine Math for student learning.

The evaluation research design provided data collection which included a pre and posttest diagnostic benchmark assessment from third grade students (n = 117) on three third grade math standards: CCSS Math Content 3. Numbers and Operations in Base Ten (NBT), CCSS Math Content 3. Measurement and Data (MD), and CCSS Math Content 3. Orders and Algebraic Thinking (OA); and a teacher focus group interview. There was significant growth for standards NBT and OA, but standard MD showed no significant growth. Two themes emerged from the teacher focus group interview: teachers valued Imagine Math for student engagement and independent learning but were unsure of its impact on mathematics learning and teachers held different views on its use and features. These findings indicated that IM worked for two of the three measured standards and teachers were unsure of the impact of IM on students’ math knowledge. According to the teachers, students were engaged and motivated when using IM, IM was needed for students who were below grade level and independent learning, but teachers had mixed feelings about reporting and navigation features.

The implications for this study included essential features for digital math games as a supplement for math learning and future research on specific state standardized tests.