A computer-assisted instruction approach to supplement the classroom instruction addressing mathematics of finance
Bradley S. Thomas, Illinois State University, United States
Illinois State University . Awarded
This three-week study examined the effects on student achievement and attitude using computer software as an alternative approach to homework exercises. The study involved three intact Mathematics Explorations classes and one intact Finite Mathematics class at Heartland Community College. All four classes addressed mathematics of finance during the study. The researcher hypothesized that using the software would produce a difference in achievement and attitude between the students accessing the software for homework exercises (treatment group) and the students taking the traditional approach of referencing the textbook for homework (comparison group).
Two instructors volunteered to assist with the study. Each instructor taught two classes; the researcher did not instruct the classes during the study. An even distribution of students in the treatment and comparison groups existed for each class; some students chose not to participate.
Achievement, measured by administering an exam at the end of the study, evaluated the student's ability to apply the appropriate mathematical model to a scenario. This was a paper and pencil exam requiring minimal computation. The researcher then compared the means of the exam scores between the treatment and comparison groups. The students' performance before the study was considered as a covariate to achievement and influenced the design of the sampling technique.
A survey conducted at the end of the study measured the difference in attitudes between the treatment and comparison groups. The treatment and comparison group surveys used five questions to compare the attitudes between the two groups; the treatment group survey used six additional questions to monitor the student's anxieties, inconveniences, etc. while using the software.
The researcher concluded that there was no evidence for a difference in achievement and attitude between students accessing the Mathematics of Finance Software for their homework assignment and students referencing the textbook for their homework assignment.
Thomas, B.S. A computer-assisted instruction approach to supplement the classroom instruction addressing mathematics of finance. Ph.D. thesis, Illinois State University.
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