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Functions of the Machine

Functions of the Machine


K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma

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Functions of the Machine builds an understanding of the purpose and nature of mathematical functions through scaffolded problems. The Edisla machines represent functions, which have a covariational relationship between their inputs and outputs. By solving problems with these machines, the student builds a conceptual understanding of functions. Each problem is more complex than the last, allowing students to slowly build their understanding as they progress through the game.

Game Overview

  • Covariational Reasoning– The student can coordinate two varying quantities that change in tandem in order to solve a problem
  • Process View of Functions – The student can explain that a function is not a set rule that defines a procedure; instead, it is a generalized input-output process
  • Graphical Reasoning – The student can identify attributes of a graph that give meaning to the associated function’s behavior
  • Quantitative Reasoning – The student can identify and relate measurable attributes of an object or situation in a problem context

In the game, players are asked to repair a mysterious machine by solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles. Each puzzle is designed to practice the student’s skill in covariational, proportional, and/or graphical reasoning and provides immediate, adaptive feedback after each attempt.

College Algebra Students, typically high school seniors, college freshmen, and college sophomores

Players are allowed as many attempts at each level as they need. After each attempt, adaptive feedback is provided. On the back end, we track how many attempts are needed, the time between attempts and other metrics to ensure that the puzzles in the game well aligned to the learning goals and that students are acquiring the necessary skills.

Game Specs

Game Engine
Operating System

Game Video

Play the video below to learn more about Functions of the Machine