Design integration of interactive whiteboards in an open distance mathematics programme
Dreyer, Hermina Hendrina
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Worldwide, people who are unable to study full-time at residential higher education institutions choose distance education as their mode of study. Such students who are mostly employed adults with multiple responsibilities face many challenges in the process. Students majoring in Mathematics often struggle to master the mathematics content of the major modules and therefore have to attempt the examination several times. The UODL at the Potchefstroom campus of the NWU incorporated IWBs as learning technology in order to improve the communication and support to their students. This study aims to determine how scaffolding of mathematics concepts can be facilitated via IWBs in order to enhance the learning experience of teacher-students towards their understanding of the fundamental principles of mathematics. The study is based on the Stoner model for implementing ICT learning technologies and the focus of the study relates specifically to the design integration phase of the Stoner cycle. The population for the study consisted of all OLG teacher-students who were registered for NWPK 512—a mathematics major module within the ACE programme. A group of ten participants attending at the White River centre and a control group of ten participants from another centre were used during the study. The study followed a mixed-method research design and was performed according to a Kirkpatrick evaluation for training programmes which involves evaluation on five different levels, namely reaction, perception whether learning occurred, change in behaviour, results and return on investment. The qualitative data were analysed through ATLAS.ti ™ augmented with descriptive statistical techniques. Descriptive statistical techniques and effect sizes were calculated to analyse the quantitative data. Reliability and validity of the instrument were calculated. Findings of the study indicated that scaffolding of mathematical concepts via IWBs enhanced students’ understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics. The group of participants performed significantly better after they have attended the scaffolding IWB sessions. The introduction to and incorporation of scaffolds for learning mathematics over distance can create an environment of effective mathematics education for all teacher-students as well as for the students in their respective classrooms.
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