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Criteria for suitability of virtual manipulatives for learning basic algebra

Janja Pogačar (2017) Criteria for suitability of virtual manipulatives for learning basic algebra. MSc thesis.

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    The master’s thesis considers virtual teaching aids for teaching algebra in elementary schools. First, the concept of teaching aid is defined and the mathematics topics in which teaching aids play an important role are presented. Then some most commonly used teaching aids in elementary school mathematics are presented. Also, the classification of teaching aids according to four criteria is described (the level of modelling, dynamicity, concreteness, and the type of interaction between teaching aid, its user and its creator). We focus on mathematics teaching aids that are virtual and dynamic. We explain the role of virtual teaching aids in teaching mathematics, we present some of such aids, and we also report on the results of several studies on teaching by using virtual teaching aids. Finally, we present four virtual teaching aids for solving linear equations that are used in the empirical part of our research. The empirical part of the thesis considers the views of prospective mathematics teachers from the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana about the criteria for suitability of teaching aids for solving linear equations. We consider also students’ opinions on the use of selected virtual teaching aids for teaching basic algebra. According to the prospective teachers the most suitable virtual teaching aid for teaching equations in basic algebra is the virtual balance scale from the website NLVM, followed by the virtual teaching aid for solving equations from the website Gizmos. In comparison to mathematics teachers from abroad the views of Slovene students on suitability criteria differ in several respects. What is less important for Slovene students is often more important for foreign mathematics teachers. For Slovene students the most important criteria in choosing teaching aids is the price, while foreign teachers put on the first place the stability of virtual aids. The established criteria and key findings about the views on the selected virtual teaching aids presented in the empirical part can be an important guide for teachers when choosing teaching aids for basic algebra in elementary schools.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: criteria of suitability of teaching aids, mathematics teaching aid, virtual teaching aid, basic algebra
    Number of Pages: 57
    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=11692617)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4646
    Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 13:28
    Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 13:28
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4646

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