Technology-engagement Teaching Strategy Using Personal Response Systems on Student’s Approaches to Learning to Increase the Mathematics Pass Rate

Sibongile S Simelane-Mnisi, Andile Mji
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 18  •  2019  •  pp. 331-353

The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether the effectiveness of the Technology-engagement Teaching Strategy using personal response systems with student’s approaches to learning will increase the pass rate in the Mathematics course

The challenge in this study was to develop the learning activities that accommodate individual differences and diversity in learning. Furthermore, Studies investigating students’ approaches to learning have mostly done this in a face-to-face learning environment as opposed to incorporate exploration thereof when integrating educational technology.

A mixed method approach was used. The basis of using this method was a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches which gives a clearer understanding of research problems than either approach alone. Participants were 240 students registered for Mathematics II at a study University of Technology in South Africa. Purposeful, convenience and simple random sampling were used to select the participants.

No study that has investigated the utility of personal response systems with students’ approaches to learning is currently available as observed by the researcher. In this case, the combination of the two variables in this study makes it unique and therefore important in contributing to the body of knowledge focusing on the role of technology in pedagogy.

The results showed that while the majority of students followed the Strategic Approach the same Technology-engagement Teaching Strategy was used for students following Surface Approaches. The Technology-engagement Teaching Strategy was developed in such a manner to accommodate students following different approaches. The personal response system continuous assessments, as well as the semester test, revealed the improvement in academic performance as well as the increase in mathematics pass rates. It was also found that using personal response system enhances students’ mathematical communication skills, and helps to develop the skills needed to write and read mathematical proofs.

It is recommended that academics take into consideration the students approaches to learning in their teaching practices. It is crucial that lecturers take advantage of technology to enhance their teaching practices and decrease the fear of the unknown and open up to new innovations in teaching.

It is recommended that the use of personal response systems should be explored in different mathematics settings (different lectures and universities). Such an exploration according to the researcher will be useful in endorsing what has been reported in this paper.

The results revealed that the Strategic Approach was the most dominant among the participants in this study. The results also showed the improvement in students’ academic performance as well as the number of students who passed increased.

A further research study could be conducted with students in a different discipline where poor academic performance is experienced.

teaching strategy, personal response systems, students’ approaches to learning, mathematics, higher education
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