Does using computer software make a difference in learning Geometric and Probability Concepts?

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Title: Does using computer software make a difference in learning Geometric and Probability Concepts?
Author: Eley, Peter Madison
Advisors: Lee V. Stiff, Committee Chair
Ernie L. Stitzinger, Committee Member
Karen F. Hollebrands, Committee Member
Abstract: ELEY, PETER MADISON. Does using computer software make a difference in learning Geometric and Probability Concepts? (Under the direction of Lee V. Stiff, PhD). The purpose of the research project was to see if using computer software in classroom instruction would help students learn geometric and probability concepts better. Geometer’s Sketchpad and Probability Explorer software were used as treatment instructional tools during a two-week summer Geometry and Probability course. Two groups of students were taught using computer software to determine if the software had an effect on student learning. The research method used a pretest/posttest growth measurement indicator. Both groups of students were given pretests about geometry and probability to determine their prior understanding of the subjects. The first group was given a computer software treatment for learning geometry while the second group was taught geometry using traditional classroom methods. After one week, the groups were switched and taught probability. The first group was now taught using traditional classroom methods and the second group used computer software to learn probability. When checking to see if a treatment effect exists, considerations are given for students’ prior knowledge of the subject matter and computer skills. After the completion of two weeks of instruction, students were given a post-test to determine negative or positive changes in their achievement. An analysis of the post-test scores using quantitative and qualitative methods indicated that students were better motivated by using computer software. However, results of the data analysis indicated that there was no significant growth in geometric or probabilistic performance by students who received the treatments.
Date: 2008-12-03
Degree: MS
Discipline: Mathematics Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2652


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