Mathematics with Milage Learn+

With this mobile learning app developed by a European project, students of all levels can have teacher support any time anywhere.



Mathematics teachers from Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Germany, and Cyprus used the MILAGE Learning+ app developed by an Erasmus+ funded project. The app works on iOS, Android, Windows and OSX apple computers and requires creating an account. It is also used in other subjects. For example, in Portugal it is used for Portuguese, Spanish, and English language teaching, Physics and Chemistry. The app has a stimulating interface and offers exercises with different subjects, difficulty levels, allowing students to learn in a self-paced manner. Students who need more support can watch explanatory videos from their teachers, while others can advance through exercises of higher difficulty and stay motivated. Parallel to this, the teacher can monitor students’ results, and help those who need it. 


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Mathematics, gamification, mobile learning

Quick reference
Develop student autonomous learning with a gamified app for learning mathematics
Student and teacher accounts on the Milage+
Implementation level
Target group age
6 to 18
Digital tools
DFA tool
Mobile learning
1 session


Mobile learning apps are great for student autonomy. Autonomous learning can be even more beneficial for studying mathematics. Sónia Barbosa, from Agrupamento de Escolas de Santo António, Portugal, has used Milage+ that combines videos and exercises with formative assessment, through the provision of tutorials, problem-solving activities, explanatory videos providing the possibility of reviewing the work of other students. The app ensures that all students have access to a common quality knowledge base with varying levels of difficulty. Teachers upload the question, the problem-solving activity and marking criteria and an educational video explaining the problem-solving task. 

The MILAGE Learning+ app is a free mobile application developed at the University of Algarve. The app is available here to the general public. It is a complementary tool for students to study mathematics autonomously anytime anywhere (see tutorial video in English). The teacher can invest more time on guiding and facilitating tasks and discussions in the classroom thanks to solutions to exercises that are already available in the app. There are also tutorials and videos that allow the teacher to manage the class at the students' pace.

There are two ways for the teacher to use the App: 

  • Teacher User - you can access all resources and monitor the work of your students. 
  • Teacher Producer - in addition to these functions, the teacher can devise resources and upload them on the Platform.

Sonia intends to ensure equal opportunities for all students by contributing not only to improving the performance of students with greater difficulties in mathematics but also by providing better performing students with more complex stimuli and challenges. Students become more effective at writing and understanding and can review video solutions uploaded by the teacher to the app as often as needed for comprehension.

The activity

The MILAGE Learning+ app exercises have different levels of difficulty, meeting both the need of students who need more support and more advanced students who need motivation. The level of difficulty is visually represented by colours from green to red. Students collect points by completing exercises.

Figure 1 Comparison between the student ‘s answer and the one provided by the app

The app also supports students by providing exercise solution videos, including a concise video with the essential steps to guide them through the solution of the exercise.

The app also includes a self-assessment scheme and peer review to stimulate the student to work independently. The review of the content and the ability to identify key steps in solving exercises allow for the better storage of knowledge in the long-term memory of students. This is done by providing an image with the problem-solving task made in stages, and also the provision of a video tutorial explaining it. The students compare their problem-solving activity with the available one and give points to their problem-solving task (there is a school, country, and worldwide ranking).

The app has a repertoire of activities which are in line with the curriculum in Norway, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Cyprus, and Turkey. The application is translated into the languages of these countries and English. The countries are responsible for the materials made available, which are thus adjusted to their national curriculum. This gives the possibility in each country to build a sharing community of teacher users and producers that develop the contents according to the national curricula and the needs of students with more flexibility.

Teachers can also join for content development through a free back-office application called the MILAGE Learning+ Teachers. They can develop content for mathematics teaching, and other subjects that can be included in the app. For example, there are exercises with sign language videos that were created by teachers who had these needs in their classrooms.

Mathematics teachers may prefer solving math problems with pen and paper, because students may get better familiarised with mathematical notations. Research also suggests that handwritten content is better retained in memory than keyboard-typed content (example) and handwriting is preferred over keyboard and mouse mode (example). The Milage app offers a great solution to this: students solve problems on paper and upload them on the app (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 Students solve math problems with pen and paper

Once students upload their solution, the app reveals its own solution to the exercise. The students perform a self-assessment by comparing their uploaded solution with the one offered by the app (see Figure 1). This is a great way to develop self-assessment skills and reinforce learning by going through the solution steps an additional time.

Teacher Sónia Barbosa implemented her Milage-based session in a class of 25 students with various levels of mathematics knowledge. The resources also allowed a student with special educational needs to work in the same environment as their colleagues but with tasks designed for their abilities. 

She initially created a worksheet with the step-by-step solutions and created videos explaining the content. 

Figure 3 A video with Portuguese Sign Language Interpreter

In the classroom, the teacher told the students which worksheet to complete. Students solved the problems with pen and paper, took a picture of their solution with their smartphone/tablet to upload it to the exercise, and then compared their photographed solution with the one presented by the application and assigned the score. They could also view a video explanation of the solution for each question. 

During the activity, the teacher monitored students' progress and help those who have more difficulties. This is done by following the tasks that the student places in the application, through a chat available for immediate feedback or the possibility of sending an email through the platform with indications for the student to overcome their difficulties.

This reinforcement can also be another incentive to congratulate students who are able to correctly perform their tasks overcoming all their difficulties. It is also important to encourage viewing the videos several times, allowing students to strengthen their learning more autonomously.

The students earn points by answering questions (Figure 4). In the application, they can also see their ranking compared to all users in Portugal or at world level. Fast finishers can continue at their own pace and reach higher levels, without losing motivation.

Figure 4 Students earn points by solving exercises. The level of difficulty of exercises is specified by their colour (green, yellow, red)

After completing each exercise, students make their own assessment as explained above. They also perform a peer review, analysing solutions from classmates verifying the reasoning presented and assigning the respective score. The distribution of the exercises for this peer review is done randomly within the group of students who performed the same exercises. Later the teacher has access to the students’ "digital notebook" where she can consult all the work and the assessment given.

This scenario could be applied also in distance learning, both synchronously and asynchronously. This application proved to be very useful during distance learning. Sónia used the application in two ways.

First, the teacher could provide a worksheet with problem-solving activities to the students which included a tutorial on the content topic selected by her and a set of questions on it. She monitored the work and gave feedback to the students through the app. This task was then completed with a synchronous online class using the Zoom Platform where students asked questions when there were still some doubts. Sónia could deepen the content they initially worked on.

Second, it enabled students as content producers. Sónia shared a working script with the stages of the resource building process. One, the selection of a set of 4 questions and answering them. Two, the creation of a script with the audio recording of the task completion. In this intermediate phase, she gave feedback on the students' work for improvement. She then provided scripts of several tools for the recording of the problem-solving tasks made by the students. Three, students solved the exercises and presented them in a presentation tool (for example PPT). Four, they recorded the sound of them explaining the solution of their exercises and put it on the app. It was very rewarding for students to see their work in App Milage, making it available for another student to learn.

Outcome and lessons learned

The results are very positive as students are more motivated and perform different tasks based on their skills in the subject. Sónia says: “The change in attitude within the classroom is clearly visible as students are more focused on their tasks”.

With this app, students have access to a teacher explaining the exercises to them anytime anywhere. This is a great asset that gives the possibility for students to learn at their own pace. Both self -and peer assessment allow students to review the tasks in different modes and develop more consistent learning.

Teachers can use existing material, but if they want to create their own worksheets, they need to produce videos to explain solutions. They will have to learn working with a video editing tool. Students can also get on board to produce videos and resources, turning this into an active participation project. Sónia tried this and witnessed a transition from “student user” to “student resource producer”; as some students got deeper in their learning and started producing resources for the app.