An Investigation Into The Impact of Computer Simulation Tools on The Ability To Learn Mathematics Concepts Involving Graphs At Secondary School Level In Serenje District

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Author(s) Simon Sishwashwa Liswaniso
Pages 432-441
Volume 5
Issue 9
Date September, 2016
Keywords Computer simulations

This study investigated the impact of computer simulations of mathematical graphical concepts on the understanding of pupils at three secondary schools in Serenje District of the Central Province of Zambia. The study comprised 150 pupils as its participants with 75 assigned to the Experimental Group and 75 assigned to the Control Group. The investigation was an experimental design involving subjecting both groups to a pre-test then exposing the experimental group to lessons involving PHET simulations while leaving the control group to have usual lessons on the same topics as the experimental group. The topics selected were graphs of linear functions and quadratic functions. After the topics were covered both groups were subjected to a post test. The results of the two tests were used as the data for investigation and were analysed using the test of differences in the means of the experimental group and the control group. The alternative hypothesis was that there a difference in the means while the null hypothesis was that there was no difference in the means of the two groups. During the pre-test the control group had a mean of 32.11% and a standard deviation of 7.96 while the experimental group had a mean of 30.64% and a standard deviation of 10.64. The difference between the standard deviations was 1.53 while z value for the difference in means was -0.96. This z value lies within the range -1.96 to 1.96 and is therefore not significant hence there is no significant difference in the pre-test scores between the control group and the experimental group. The control group had a mean of 50.37% and a standard deviation of 12.75 while the experimental group had a mean of 62.83% and a standard deviation of 14.96 in the results of the post test. The difference in the standard deviations was 2.27 and the z score for the difference in the mean was 5.49. This z score difference is well out of the range ₋1.96 to 1.96. The difference was significant following a two tailed test at 5% level of significance. The results of the experimental group were better than those for the control group.

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