A pilot study of using web-assisted instructional systems for high school's mathematical teaching.
Dr. Song-Sun Lin
Dr. Chin-Chung Tsai
The purpose of this study was to explore the current situation of using web-based instructional systems in high school's mathematical teaching. This study was pilot in nature, and it dealt with the aspects of teachers and students separately. By investigating both students' and teachers' viewpoints, this study attempted to provide useful suggestions and methods for web-based instruction in mathematics. This study, first, surveyed 120 high school mathematics teachers' views toward web-based curriculum and instruction. The questionnaire included 4 factors, including the attitudes toward about the use of network, the attitudes toward the web-based learning materials, the attitudes toward multimedia presentation on the web, and the attitude toward future teaching of using the web. The questionnaire data were analyzed by a cluster analysis. And one teacher in each cluster was selected for further interview. Based on the data collected from teachers, this study, then, tried to construct a proper system for web-based mathematics learning. The system was empirically examined by two high school students in Hsinchu. Two classes (one in each school) were assigned to an experimental group, experiencing the web-based system, while another two classes (one in each school) were assigned to a control group, receiving traditional approach to mathematics instruction. The results derived from this study suggested the following findings. First, the mathematics teachers, in general, had positive viewpoints about the networked teaching. They believed that the rich resources on the web and multimedia presentations might help students understand some abstract mathematical concepts and the nature of mathematical knowledge. However, the pressures caused by crammed syllabus and the insufficient support of using web might hinder their motivation to use web-based instructional systems. Second, the data from the students revealed that the use of web-based instruction could enhance students' knowledge acquisition in mathematics, in particular in Bloom's application level. This study also suggested that the use of web-based instruction might be a potential method to narrow the gap between male and female students' mathematics achievement, and to narrow the gap between experimental and traditional schools' performance in mathematics.
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