Effects of virtual manipulatives on students' procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of fractions

Tan, George Geok Shim (2010) Effects of virtual manipulatives on students' procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of fractions. Masters thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

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Abstract

The advancement in technology has dramatically changed the daily life of people around the world. In the past decade, computer technology has not only changed the nature of resources, communication, and information; it also transformed the contemporary society; changing the ways we live, work and learn (Hill & Hannafin, 2001; cited in Mcgrawl, 2005). Recently, the use of computers in mathematics classroom has increased as educators begin to see them as valuable teaching tools. An idea to create "virtual manipulatives" was proposed by Moyer, Bolyard and Spikell (2002; cited in Yuan, 2007) to present opportunities for constructing mathematical knowledge. Virtual manipulatives are replicas of physical manipulatives placed on the World Wide Web in the form of computer applets with additional advantageous 'features (Moyer & Reimer, 2005). One feature that makes virtual manipulative applets advantageous for mathematics instruction is their capability to connect dynamic visual images with abstract symbols The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of using virtual manipulatives in the teaching and learning of primary five fractions. This study explored the impact of virtual manipulatives on students' mathematics achievement, attitudes towards virtual manipulatives, and interest in learning mathematics. In addition, this study also investigated the changes in students' procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of fraction using virtual manipulatives. The study was conducted using a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental with control group design. The independent variables were the instructional approaches (virtual manipulatives and traditional instruction) and students' gender (male and female). The dependent variable were the students' mathematics test score (procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding), students' attitudes towards the instructional approaches, and students' interest in learning mathematics. The covariate was the students' initial procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of fractions. The participants for this study were one hundred and twelve primary five students from two national primary schools in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak. The research instruments used in this study comprised of pretest, posttest, and questionnaire. Data obtained were coded, computed, and analyzed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Science (SPSS) version 16. Results showed that students that were taught using virtual manipulatives have better procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding compared to students that were taught using traditional instruction. There was also a significant gender difference in students' procedural knowledge, with female students having a better procedural knowledge achievement scores compared to male students. Furthermore, students in the virtual manipulatives group have positive attitudes toward the instructional approaches and more positive interest in learning xi mathematics compared to the students in the traditional instruction group. Thus, it could be concluded that virtual manipulatives has the potential to improve learning in primary mathematics classes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Sc.) -- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fractions, virtual manipulatives, technology, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, teaching and learning, Postgraduate, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2017 03:46
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 18:05
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/14862

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