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ERIC Number: EJ1046419
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0731-9258
Excel Spreadsheets for Algebra: Improving Mental Modeling for Problem Solving
Engerman, Jason; Rusek, Matthew; Clariana, Roy
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, v33 n4 p409-427 Oct 2014
This experiment investigates the effectiveness of Excel spreadsheets in a high school algebra class. Students in the experiment group convincingly outperformed the control group on a post lesson assessment. The student responses, teacher observations involving Excel spreadsheet revealed that it operated as a mindtool, which formed the users' mental models more similar to the tool itself. The engagement with the tool allowed students to easily replicate its functionality in this problem solving task opposed to the limited strategies used by the control group of students taught through worked examples. By working with Excel spreadsheets, the students were able to better identify manipulation of their problem spaces during the "discovering solutions phase" of problem solving. Subsequently, this development allowed for deeper levels of understanding algebraic relations and lead to high road transfer of the content.
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. P.O. Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327. Tel: 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A