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Reflections on the Changing Pedagogical use of Computer Algebra Systems: Assistance for Doing or Learning Mathematics?
Article

, University of Ballarat, Australia ; , University of Melbourne, Australia

JCMST Volume 20, Number 2, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

This article documents a change in the use of a Computer Al-gebra System, (CAS), with a group of first year, undergradu-ate, mathematics students. CAS was initially used as an as-sistant for doing mathematics, enabling students to solve dif-ficult problems. During the period of the study it came to be used as an assistant for learning mathematics, as a partner in the teaching and learning process. This article notes the changes required in organisation, teaching materials, and as-sessment, then reflects on changes in students' attitudes and learning outcomes. Surveys, interviews and teacher observations suggested that students' attitudes toward the use of CAS for learning math-ematics were positive and that they believed that it aided their understanding. Students appreciated the availability of CAS for examinations. There was no demonstrable change in student achievement resulting from the changed pedagogical use of CAS. However changes in learning goals and assess-ment procedures mean that no simple comparison is possible.

Citation

Pierce, R. & Stacey, K. (2001). Reflections on the Changing Pedagogical use of Computer Algebra Systems: Assistance for Doing or Learning Mathematics?. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 20(2), 143-161. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved September 19, 2019 from .

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