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Mathematical thinking of undergraduate students when using three types of software

By Anesa Hosein, James Aczel, Doug Clow and John T. E. Richardson


The research investigates how conceptual understanding of mathematics is promoted when using three types of software: black-box (no mathematical intermediate steps shown), glass-box (intermediate steps shown) and open-box (interaction at each intermediate step). Thirty-eight students were asked to think-aloud and give detailed explanations whilst answering three types of tasks: mechanical (mostly procedural), interpretive (mostly conceptual) and constructive (mixture of conceptual and procedural). The software types had no impact on how students answered the mechanical tasks; however students using the black-box did better on the constructive tasks because of their increased explorations. Students with low maths confidence resorted to using real-life explanations when answering tasks that were application related

Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:24543
Provided by: Open Research Online

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