Presentation on theme: "ALM Conference, Melbourne 2005 Blended online learning in mathematics: a comparative study Syed Javed Victoria University of Technology."— Presentation transcript:
ALM Conference, Melbourne 2005 Blended online learning in mathematics: a comparative study Syed Javed Victoria University of Technology
Blended Online Learning "Both teachers and students preferred a ‘blended learning’ approach, one which captures the best features of flexibility and integrates these with the social interactions of the classroom.” Brennan, R. (2002), One size doesn’t fit all: Pedagogy in the online environment, NCVER, Adelaide. “A blended approach of on- and offline learning and assessment is reported to work best in most situations. The need to integrate the learning and assessment is also considered critical." Patricia Hyde, Robin Booth and Penny Wilson(2002). The development of quality online assessment in VET, NCVER, Adelaide.
Context of Study Many students experience difficulties in dealing with mathematical content in mainstream TAFE courses Teaching of mathematics in mainstream TAFE courses is fragmented Learning of mathematics in mainstream TAFE is industry focused Limited time is available for developing understanding and skills practice
Our Approach Create flexible learning opportunities for students Support face to face learning with online content Develop easily accessible online resources for students Provide more opportunities for student-student and student-teacher interaction in both online and face to face learning Aggregate rather than recreate
The Module Face to Face 30 hour module 15 X 2 hour classes Held in a computer lab class Six Learning outcomes Teacher led maths sessions Ongoing assessment Online Module homepage on WebCT All handouts and assessment sheets available online Online tasks and assessment for selected Learning outcomes Online Resources Email and Discussion
Learning Outcomes Perform basic algebraic equations Use of calculator or computer to perform common commercial percentage calculations Perform simple and compound interest calculations Perform basic depreciation calculations Apply the principles of linear equations to break even analysis Prepare appropriate graphs from data and interpret them
Research Questions How does the use of online facilitated mathematics instruction affect students’ attitude towards mathematics? Does the use of online resources in teaching enhance students’ mathematics achievement? How do students access and use online environments for their learning needs? What factors influence students’ participation in online environments for learning?
Method Two classes served as control (19 students) and experiment (24 students) groups Comparison of pre/ post treatment attitude and achievement scores using Aiken Dreger Mathematics Attitude Scale Course Assessments and Final Test Analysis of qualitative data derived from: Personal reflection in developing and teaching online and intervention and revision of classroom practice Interviews with students WebCT admin and user data Student journal entries
An online task Task 1: Rule of 70 =============== In financial circles there is a popular method of working out how long will it take your money to double at a given interest rate. It is known as the 'Rule of 70'. Find out more about this rule of 70 from your course resource page via the link 'Interest Problems Q and A' under the Percentage section. Problem: Work out how long will it take to double $5000 at the interest rate of 7% p.a. Task 1: Rule of 70 =============== In financial circles there is a popular method of working out how long will it take your money to double at a given interest rate. It is known as the 'Rule of 70'. Find out more about this rule of 70 from your course resource page via the link 'Interest Problems Q and A' under the Percentage section. Problem: Work out how long will it take to double $5000 at the interest rate of 7% p.a.
Results Attitude towards Mathematics Achievement Scores Access and use of online environment Factors affecting learning with online environment
Attitude towards Maths Pre-post test comparison No difference between two groups at the start of the module. Experiment group’s attitude towards mathematics improved more than the control group and that this difference was statistically significant. Note: attitude test scores range between –20 and +20 ExperimentControl MSDM Pre test-0.4413.747.1110.88 Post test6.7811.1111.897.36 t(9)=2.317, p<.05t(9)=1.875, p>.05
Achievement Pre-post test comparison Results show that the experimental and control group achievement scores did not differ significantly at the start of the module. A paired sample t test shows that students’ achievement scores in mathematics improved significantly for both experiment and control groups Pre TreatmentPost Treatment MSDM Control27.1420.1869.1420.04 Experiment33.1316.2460.6322.96 t(13)=0.636, p>.05t(13)=0.760, p>.05
Summary of Findings Change in students’ attitude towards mathematics appears to be more positive with online facilitated instruction. Students’ achievement scores do not vary significantly between blended online and traditional classes [In practice online tasks enabled more authentic learning but final test comprised only paper based problems] Blended learning provides flexible and better access to course resources [In practice students attending regular classes made more use of online resources than students who missed classes] Interactive skills practice and auto correction exercises allowed students to practice particular skills at their own pace- and they were well accepted [In practice course content moved too fast for many students, leaving no time for practice]
Online communication and logs of topical maths discussions provided a wealth of authentic shared knowledge [In practice learning and information overload on students did not leave much room for exploration of knowledge.] Blended online learning encouraged peer-to- peer interaction and cohesion within the class Technology demanded more planning and monitoring. [Many online tasks were developed ‘on the run’ and students’ expectation of response increased with the use of email and WebCT]
Do you thing computers and internet makes learning easier for this course? “It’s handy(online) because realistically you get so much work and so many assignments that to get another piece of paper that we’ve got to take home and do in our books is a little bit lethargic and boring. But…jump on the net for few minutes, read through a couple of questions, utilise the resource page and stuff, it’s a good change. And it’s quite simple too to follow through...I think later rather than earlier I have understood how much it is able to help.” [Male, mature age, attendance 100%, webct access 98, final test 95%]
“But too much on the internet, as in particular websites for particular subjects, like the whole assignment is from the internet so you sit there all day, all night just trying to research. You don’t learn much you just sit there and read and you just can’t…” “ (I like) the resource page...Sort of like activities you can do, algebraic activities. I liked that one...The planning and all solutions too, you can get.” [Female 19, Attendance 58%, WebCT access count 91, Final Test 70%]
“Just sources for maths, the internet…you can’t always use the internet for maths because you need a person up there explaining on the board, putting in the quotations and everything, it’s better. The internet hasn’t just got much things, it’s just got information that’s it, you need some examples, you need a person....I’ve been longer, I’ve been using the computer, internet for longer but I’ve been using chat. I do a lot of infoteching around, it’s easier for us.” [Female, 20, Attendance 75%, WebCT access count 57, Final Test 17%]
How effective do you think you have been in your facilitated online teaching? “Maybe I’m being a bit too hard on myself but some units I haven’t been as effective. It has certainly made a little bit of a difference for students that weren’t prepared to do the work, once they got a little bit engaged they were willing to try…in order to make it more effective in the future I think that we have to prepare the students for this type of learning before engaging in it and perhaps in our assessment we should do more, there should be some more online tasks and giving them the option of assessment that use online tasks.” [Teacher]
Further contact firstname.lastname@example.org Slides and full paper from: http://www.staff.vu.edu.au/syed