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Study: the demographics of DoodleMaths users

A guest blog by Bill Smith, a Student Placement Software Engineer, investigating the stars earned by users.


What is the gender gap in education?

Many Doodle users are in Key Stage 2 where, according to the Department of Education, girls tend to earn higher test scores than boys. This was found to be the case across all subjects in the UK, with the disparities in 2019 [1] being shown below.

As the cause of this gap remains the subject of debate and concern, we were interested to see whether our own data from DoodleMaths users would reflect or differ from these trends.

Researching star attainment in DoodleMaths

To study the relationship between the number of stars earned and gender, we used the ONS collection of baby names [2] to identify the gender of the first names of users in our database.

Comparing the number of boys and girls with the same name showed whether a child with that name was more likely to be a boy or girl. For example, 99.5% of babies called ‘Sam’ were likely to be boys, whereas those called ‘River’ had a 47% likelihood of being a girl.

This method was a great simplification as it ignored how a child may identify themselves and any nicknames they may have. However, doing this provided at least some indication of their likely gender, with the findings being supported by the large size of the dataset.

The number of stars earned for all children was then grouped together by their age, and the results are shown below.


Key findings

  • Between the ages of 5 and 7, boys answer slightly more questions in DoodleMaths than girls
  • Between the ages of 7 and 11, the KS2 gender gap can be seen, with girls answering over 10% more questions at some ages than boys
  • Children like to take a break from using Doodle on their birthdays (which we wholeheartedly support!).
  • On the graph, the vertical spikes down represent birthdays
  • This also reveals two mysteries…
  • Boys like to take a second break a few days after their ninth birthday
  • Boys like to work harder on their twelfth birthday

How we’re addressing the gender gap

Here at Doodle, we’re passionate about ensuring that our programmes can be accessed and enjoyed by all. All of our apps can be used offline and set work at just the right level for each child, enabling them to work independently anywhere, anytime.

At the same time, we aim to transform learning into a fun and rewarding experience. All children can earn virtual rewards, enjoy interactive exercises and play educational games, helping to spark their love of learning and inspiring them to use Doodle a little every day!

Or discover Doodle for schools


References

[1] assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/830285/KS2_Provisional_publication_text_2019.pdf

[2]

ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/datasets/babynamesinenglandandwalesfrom1996

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