The Effect of Using the TI-92 on Basic College Algebra Students Ability To Solve Word Problems.Report as inadecuate

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As part of an effort to improve community college algebra students' ability to solve word problems, a study was undertaken at Florida's Manatee Community College to determine the effects of using heuristic instruction (i.e., providing general rules for solving different types of math problems) in combination with the TI-92 calculator. The TI-92 combines the capabilities of a computer algebra system, which has shown potential in improving students' problem solving ability, and the portability of a calculator. The study involved two sections of basic college algebra students. Although both groups received explicit heuristic instruction, the control group solved equations by hand and the treatment group used the TI-92. Pre- and post-tests were administered to both groups to determine the effects of instruction. Analysis of covariance on post-test scores, using pretest scores as a covariate, indicated that the treatment group scored significantly higher than the control group, but no significant differences were found between males and females. The pre- and post-tests; a scoring rubric; and tables showing mean pre- and post-test scores by group, mean pre- and post-test scores by gender, and an analysis of covariance for post-test scores using pre-test scores as a covariate are appended. Contains 15 references. (HAA)

Descriptors: Algebra, Calculators, College Mathematics, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Heuristics, Instructional Improvement, Mathematics Instruction, Outcomes of Education, Pretests Posttests, Teaching Methods, Two Year Colleges, Word Problems (Mathematics)

Author: Runde, Dennis C.


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