M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Algebra--Study and teaching (Secondary); Graphic calculators; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Secondary); Functions; Equations; Quadratic
The main objective of this research was to study the effect graphing calculators had on students' abilities to solve quadratic equations, to graph quadratic functions, and to construct mathematical connections between the multiple representations of quadratic equations and functions. Two Algebra II classes participated in the study. The calculator class had 28 students in the class and was allowed to use graphing calculators. The non-calculator class had 25 students in the class and was not allowed to use graphing calculators. Data were collected from the classes using a written pre-assessment instrument, three written post-assessment instruments, and responses from eight interviews. The pre-assessment was used to determine the modes of representation the students' preferred to use on items related to quadratic equations and functions. The written post-assessment instruments consisted of 23 items related to quadratic equations and functions. The interviews conducted asked the students to answer items from the written post-assessment instruments. The findings indicated that the use of the graphing calculator was only statistically significant on items that required the students to graph a quadratic function, find the vertex, x-intercepts, or y-intercept. The use of the graphing calculator did not have a statistically significant effect on students' performances in solving quadratic equations or other items related to quadratic functions. The interviews suggested that the students tended to use their graphing calculator when they could not recall how to solve the problems algebraically. The study also described the mathematical connections which were potentially formed between the multiple representations of quadratic equations and quadratic functions by the eight students who were interviewed.
Cazzato, Rick A., "The use of graphing calculators and students' constructions of connections between multiple representations of quadratic equations and functions" (1996). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 6377.
Northern Illinois University
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