ERIC Number: ED409880
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Learning with Technology: Research on Graphing Calculators.
Cassity, Constance L.
Research has often found little or no significant differences in overall performance for math students using graphing calculators compared to traditional (non-calculator) classes. However, when performance is divided into procedural and conceptual levels, significant differences appear at the conceptual level. This study investigates the relation of the factors of gender, spatial visualization, mathematical confidence, basic algebra ability, and classroom graphing calculator utilization to conceptual mathematical performance with graphing calculators in college algebra. The subjects were undergraduate students enrolled in a college algebra class in which graphing calculators are required. Graphing calculator utilization was observed and rated on a scale ranging from negative to intensive. The study revealed little variation over the utilization rating scale, with scores only ranging from 6-9 inclusive on a scale of possible values from 3-15. This indicates that the integration of this technology was not yet a major part of the instructional process. The data collected in this study may serve as a baseline for data collected in the future as the reform process changes the teaching of college algebra. The lack of gender correlations supports the equity of graphing calculator-enhanced instructional practices in college algebra. Results show that the variables of spatial visualization and mathematical confidence are related to conceptual mathematical performance when graphing calculators are utilized as a tool. An appendix provides the guidelines and procedures for classroom graphing calculator utilization observations. (Contains 14 references.) (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A