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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

When Calculators Lie: An Examination of How Calculators Affect Student's Engagement in Mathematical Problem Solving
by LaCour, Mark S., M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 49; 10248623
Abstract (Summary)

Quantitative reasoning is an important skill set that educators work tirelessly to develop, yet evidence is beginning to show a downward trend in performance among university students over the past few decades. The rise of technology in everyday life has undoubtedly affected the cognition of younger generations of students. Of particular interest is the increasing availability of calculators (e.g., on cell phones). In this experiment, we programmed a calculator to lie to students in certain conditions as well as alter the presentation of problems. We also collected numeracy scores. The effects of these variables on reports of suspicion towards the calculator and overall accuracy on problems were analyzed to see whether students tended to be disengaged from math problems while using a calculator (Disengagement Hypothesis) or whether calculators do not substantially affect how students engage in problems and variation in performance is more attributable to general numeracy (Engagement Hypothesis). The Engagement Hypothesis was supported.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cech, Claude G.
Commitee: Breaux, Brooke, Yang, Yang
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Educational psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Calculator usage, Mathematical cognition
Publication Number: 10248623
ISBN: 978-0-355-11328-0
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