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Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats1 An Evaluation of Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Mathematics and Statistics

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Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats2 Background University of Applied Sciences (FH) Schmalkalden – Established in 1991 – 5 Faculties – 3,000 students Faculty of Business and Economics – Established in 1992 – 4 Bachelor programs – 1 Master program (English) – 600 students

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Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats3 History of Matrix Algebra course Until 2001 – Regular classroom (2 groups of up to 70 students) – Blackboard & overhead projector; pocket calculators 2002 – In PC lab: 2 of 15 weeks 2003 - 2004 – In PC lab: every other week (4 groups ≤ 40) Since 2005 – In PC lab only (3 groups ≤ 40)

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Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats4 History of Intermediate Statistics course Until 2001 – Regular classroom (2 groups of up to 70 students) – Blackboard & overhead projector; pocket calculators 2002 – In PC lab: every other week (4 groups ≤ 40) 2003 – In PC lab: 12 of 26 lectures (3 groups ≤ 54) Since 2004 – In PC lab only (3 groups ≤ 40)

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General Design of Bachelor Programs Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats5

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6 Questionnaire Survey 09A (part 1).

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Questionnaire Survey 09A (part 2) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats7

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Overall averages for statements (Survey 09A) Stmt. No. StatementN=96 S1Working with Derive is no big problem for me 4,5 S2Derive allows more vivid problem solving 4,1 S3Derive helps me to avoid mistakes 4,8 S4I can work faster when using Derive 4,9 S6Derive makes me feel more confident when solving problems 4,6 S7I use Derive to check results 4,3 S5I “voluntarily” use Derive for other courses too 1,8 S8I like mathematics and statistics 3,0 Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats8

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Frequency distribution of responses to statement S8 (Survey 09A) definitely true … definitely not true 8. I like mathematics and statistics. 6 5 4 3 2 1 8 14 13 16 28 17 Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats9

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Students’ attitudes towards technology (Survey 09A) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats10

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Frequency distribution of responses to last question in questionnaire (Survey 09A) Please turn this questionnaire over to find your result (as percentage of total points) in the “Matrix Algebra” part of the “Mathematics II” examination last semester, and mark the respective category accordingly 0-20% 21-30% 31-40% 41-50% 51-60% 61-80% 81-100% 1 5 11 20 7 8 12 Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats11

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Female vs. male students (Survey 09A) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats12

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“Don’t like maths & stats” vs. “Like maths & stats” students (Survey 09A) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats13

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Negative vs. indifferent vs. positive “Attitude towards Technology” students (Survey 09A) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats14

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Low- (no more than 40%) vs. high- (more than 80%) performance students (Survey 09A) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats15

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Hypotheses based on previous results Male students have more positive attitudes towards CAS use in mathematics education than female students Students who are more open to computer use in the teaching of mathematics and statistics also have in general more positive attitudes towards CAS use in mathematics education Students who are better in mathematics also have more positive attitudes towards CAS use in mathematics education Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats16

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Regression models Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats17 Independent variables: Maledummy variable: 1 if male, 0 if female; AtoT“Attitude towards Technology” (this is defined as the number of courses a student would prefer as a technology-supported course in the PC lab instead of as a traditional course in a lecture hall (possible values: none, one of two, both)); PercMApercentage of points in Matrix Algebra portion of “Mathematics II” exam (generated by replacing the values of the variable, which contains the answers to the last question in the questionnaire, by the respective mid-points of the categories).

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Linear regression results (Survey 09A) dependent variable: R²const.MaleAtoTPercMA S1 no big problem working with0.173.370.120.210.017 S2 more vivid problem solving0.103.36-0.010.360.008 S3 helps to avoid mistakes0.303.800.480.360.011 S4 work faster when using it0.223.780.310.450.011 S6 more confident problem solving0.183.610.120.260.016 S7 use to check results0.123.66-0.470.380.011 S5 use also for other courses0.131.120.040.500.004 S8 like maths and stats0.191.880.10-0.310.030 Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats18

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Conclusions (Survey 09A) A first option to improve the status quo: Increase the proportion of time devoted to CAS use in the voluntary tutorial (2 hours each week). A better option: Set aside a couple hours for an introduction to a CAS during the three-day bridge course offered the week before the first semester starts, demonstrating its usefulness for all four compulsory courses in mathematics and statistics. Probably the best option: Dedicate between 2 and 4 hours of the compulsory Information Technology course in the first semester to an introduction to a CAS; it would then be seen more as a general instrument and the computer viewed also as an assistant for mathematics. Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats19

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Overall averages for statements (all 4 surveys) Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats20 Survey 09ASurvey 09BSurvey 10ASurvey 10B N96867765 S1no big problem working with 4,54,34,84,9 S2more vivid problem solving 4,13,94,5 S3helps to avoid mistakes 4,84,6 4,9 S4work faster when using it 4,94,74,95,1 S6more confident problem solving 4,6 4,44,7 S7use to check results 4,3 3,84,7 S5use also for other courses 1,8 2,1 S8like maths and stats 3,03,73,53,6 S5 no big problem working with SPSS 3,8 S6 use of freeware instead of SPSS 4,2 S7real stats only possible on PC 3,8 S8 tech-support: [computations] easier 4,1 S9 tech-support: more understandable 4,0 S5practise regularly 2,8

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Differences between cohorts Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats21

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2009 cohort: changing attitudes over time Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats22

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2010 cohort: changing attitudes over time Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats23

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Reference Karsten Schmidt & Anke Köhler (2012): Teaching Mathematics in the PC Lab – The Students’ Viewpoints International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology DOI:10.1080/0020739X.2012.714490 Link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2012.714490 Karsten Schmidt: Students’ Experiences in Technology-based Courses in Maths & Stats24

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