The Effect of Graphing Calculators and A Three-Core Representation Curriculum on College Students' Learning of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

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Title: The Effect of Graphing Calculators and A Three-Core Representation Curriculum on College Students' Learning of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
Author: Ford, Shelton
Advisors: Ernest L. Stitzinger, Committee Member
William M. Waters, Committee Member
Sarah B. Berenson, Committee Member
Lee V. Stiff, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential benefits of a multi-representational curriculum on students’ understanding of and connections among graphical, tabular, and symbolic representations of algebraic concepts. The participants of the study were 113 college students enrolled in developmental college algebra at a southern university. This study utilized a quasi-experimental design in which instructors taught the course from a scripted algebraic perspective while the researcher taught the course from a functional approach simultaneously introducing multiple representations. The effect of a three-core representation curriculum on student success was assessed with a pretests and posttests of nine problems, with three representations; algebraic, graphical, and numerical. Also used were pretests and posttests of ten calculator knowledge questions. The problems were chosen because of their prevalence in most developmental college algebra curricula. The three-core representation curriculum was more successful in increasing student achievement. Students from the three-core representation curriculum scored significantly higher and were significantly more adept in using representational methods other than algebraic to solve the problem. This research showed that a multi-representational curriculum could be effective in expanding students’ web of connected knowledge of algebraic and functional concepts.
Date: 2008-12-05
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Mathematics Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4839


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