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Even During a Pandemic, Prodigy Can Shift Students’ Mindsets

Joshua Prieur, Ed.D.

Jiawen Chen, Ph.D.

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Overview: what do students really think of Prodigy?

At Prodigy, we hear from students across the globe every day who are excited to share how much they love our resource.

In an effort to better understand how Prodigy usage impacts students’ perceptions of mathematics, we asked those who were new to Prodigy to rate their responses in game.

In a pre- and post-survey design, they rated the statements “I like math” and “I am good at math.” This helped us see how their perceptions of the subject changed over the course of a challenging few months.

Data: we surveyed 1,912 students

The pre-survey launched in February 2020 at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the post-survey launched in May 2020.

A total of 1,912 new students in 3rd to 6th grade had the opportunity to respond to the in-game statements on a Likert scale.* This five-point scale allowed them to express how much they agreed or disagreed with the two statements.

*Responding to questions was/is optional for students. All data is anonymized and aggregated. No personally identifiable information (PII) was collected from students during this process.

Results: Prodigy increased students' enjoyment of math

Students quickly went from deriving low enjoyment from math to feeling much more positive about it.

  • From Survey 1 to Survey 2, we observed a significant increase in math enjoyment and confidence among students who had low enjoyment or confidence in Survey 1.**
  • Enjoyment and confidence stayed approximately unchanged among students who had high enjoyment or confidence in Survey 1.***

**Comparison was made between users with low versus high math enjoyment in Survey 1. Comparison with a "no Prodigy use" control group was not available for this analysis.
***Findings are based on responses to questions at the time. Individual circumstances may vary, results are not guaranteed.

A graph showing the number of kids in third to sixth grade who said they loved math in February 2020 and May 2020.
For students (n = 230) who gave a low score for “I enjoy math” in Survey 1 (mean = 1.24), there was a significant increase in their Survey 2 score (mean = 2.89).

Bonus findings

More than half of the students surveyed said they really enjoyed math.

  • On average, students reported high levels of enjoyment and confidence in math in both surveys across the grades with more than half of all students giving a score of 5.

Younger students are more confident.

  • In both surveys younger students (Grades 3 and 4) reported slightly higher enjoyment and math confidence than older students (Grade 6).

Conclusion: Prodigy's promise

Students who like math see that love of math continue while using Prodigy. But amazingly, students who had extremely low enjoyment in math in the pre-survey saw a significant, positive shift in their opinion towards math in just a few months.

Prodigy will continue to work tirelessly toward achieving our mission of helping every student in the world love learning. And we will continue to seek and understand how using Prodigy impacts students’ attitudes towards math.

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