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Computer simulations and teaching mathematics

Kristina Erznožnik (2014) Computer simulations and teaching mathematics. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    This thesis is based on a didactic use of simulation software in mathematics classes. The goal is to present the ways in which pupils can gain extensive experience, study different influences on systems and, most important connect real life situations with mathematics. What makes this possible is a computer simulation which enables them to recognize functional links and observe different processes as well as complex phenomena. At the beginning of the theoretical part the concept of simulation is presented. It includes representations of mathematical concepts in mathematics classes and an explanation of the concepts of model and modelling describing their role in both, computer simulation and teaching process. The theoretical part continues with an explanation of the computer simulation process, the use of simulation in class and the descriptions of software that were and still are used in teaching mathematics. The theoretical part is concluded by presenting simulation software intended for teaching, Gizmo and SimCalcMathWorld, as well as by describing their use on practical examples. The empirical part of the thesis comprises a research on the effectiveness of the use of the SimCalcMathWorld computer program. Research questions consider students’ motivation for work with the SimCalcMathWorld program and the adequacy of this program for classroom use. In the research two students from grades 8 and 9 studied the topic of direct proportion using the simulation program. After the explanation, the pupils were asked to take a test that was used as an additional instrument; the main research instrument, however, was participant observation. The gathered data was examined by qualitative data analysis in order find out the capabilities and effectiveness of the program as a teaching tool as well as to gain as much information as possible about teaching methods that use the SimCalcMathWorld simulation software.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: computer simulation, model, modelling, representation, simulation software
    Number of Pages: 106
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Zlatan MagajnaMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9995593)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2040
    Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 16:32
    Last Modified: 24 Feb 2014 16:32
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2040

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