Effects of a mathematics education Web-based workshop on preservice elementary teachers
Cheng-Yao Lin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign . Awarded
This study explored the efficacy of web-based workshops in topics in elementary school mathematics in fostering teachers' confidence and competence in using instructional technology, and thereby promoting more positive attitudes toward using computers and Internet resources in the mathematics classroom. The study utilized mix-mode research methodologies. The quantitative component entailed the use of self-report surveys on various aspects of the workshops. The qualitative component consisted of in-depth interviews of selected workshop participants in order to provide information on whether the goals of the workshops were realized, and if so, in what ways these goals were accomplished.
The study has two parts. In the quantitative part of the project, a quasi-experimental design was used, involving an experimental group that participated in the web-based workshops and a control group, which did not. The subjects of this study were undergraduate students in the preservice elementary education program in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They were enrolled in a mathematics methods course in Fall 2002. A total of 97 students was involved. The treatment group consisted of 47 students, while the control group was made up of 50 students. The researcher interviewed ten students.
The results indicated that students who participated in the web-based workshops exhibited a significantly (p < .05) better attitude toward using computers and web-based resources in teaching mathematics than did students in the control group. In addition, data on self-reported levels of technology competency showed that there was a positive relationship between computer competency and attitudes toward using computer technology in the mathematics classroom.
The interviews showed that most of the students in the experimental group felt comfortable using web-based resources in teaching elementary school mathematics. It was also found through the interviews that all students agreed that the workshops helped them become more confident in using computers to teach mathematics. The findings of this study provide further compelling evidence to support the recommendations of many national reports, such as the NCTM Professional Standards for School Mathematics (2000), to substantially increase the role of instructional technology in the contemporary mathematics classroom.
Lin, C.Y. Effects of a mathematics education Web-based workshop on preservice elementary teachers. Ph.D. thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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