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Procedural Knowledge in the Presence of a Computer Algebra System (CAS): Rating the Drawbacks Using a Multi-Factorial Evaluation Approach
ARTICLE

IJFTME Volume 14, Number 1, ISSN 1744-2710

Abstract

Computer algebra systems (CASs) have been used by thousands of teachers and students for teaching and learning algebra. They have the ability to perform efficiently almost all of the algebraic expansions and simplifications. Nevertheless, the traditional approach of using paper and pencil in acquiring procedural knowledge is still widely practised. It was hypothesised that developing symbolic manipulation through procedural knowledge is not always favoured by students. This paper investigates this hypothesis and gives a rating of several drawbacks of procedural knowledge using the fuzzy set theory decision making processes. The study involved a survey which consists of four factors for the purpose of giving a rating. A multi-factorial fuzzy evaluation approach was used to analyse the data collected from one hundred and sixty four students sampled from a secondary school in Terengganu, Malaysia. The students were taught the technique of the completing the square method for quadratic functions using both a CAS and a traditional procedural approach. The evaluation indicated that students felt that there were disadvantages with the procedural approach in the presence of a CAS. This rating gives rise to concerns about the relevance of procedural knowledge in the age of computerised mathematics technology. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)

Citation

Abdullah, L.M. (2007). Procedural Knowledge in the Presence of a Computer Algebra System (CAS): Rating the Drawbacks Using a Multi-Factorial Evaluation Approach. International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education, 14(1), 14-20. Retrieved February 22, 2019 from .

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