Den Virtuelle Matematikkskolen - Ungdomstrinnet : En studie av hvilke pedagogiske konsekvenser bruk av nettressursen DVM-U kan føre med seg
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Many lower secondary school students struggle with mathematics and with motivation in the subject. To improve student achievement and motivation in mathematics, The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education and The Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education have developed an online learning resource that contains mathematical examples, exercises and games, called The Virtual School of Mathematics – Lower Secondary (DVM-U). The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education suggest that DVM-U can be used in preparation of a topic, or as something students can work with if they do not benefit on a satisfactory level from the classroom teaching. DVM-U is currently a pilot study. In 2017 The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education will give The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training a recommendation which may cause DVM-U to become a permanent offer. It has previously been conducted two NIFU reports about DVM-U for the school years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, but this year it has not been ordered any new report. According to DVM-U’s project manager, The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education is lacking sufficient empirical data to conclude whether DVM-U is a sensible measure for students with low achievements in mathematics. To contribute to the evaluation on the web resource I have based this thesis on the following problem: Which possible educational consequences may the use of the web resource DVM-U lead to? Two aspects of DVM-U are further investigated. If DVM-U are to be used as a preparation for a topic, it should be possible to see connections between the contents of DVM-U and students’ textbooks in mathematics. If it should be any point in using DVM-U, it should also offer something that a printed textbook cannot. First research question examines this: 1) What separates the web resource DVM-U and the printed textbook Sirkel for 9th grade? As DVM-U is a digital learning resource, it also contains aspects that cannot be compared with a printed textbook. Second research question therefore maps the digital opportunities DVM-U offers, and the quality of these opportunities: 2) How can DVM-U be evaluated based on given criteria for technical and pedagogical usability? The first research question is answered by comparing the learnings materials’ structure, content and cognitive demands of their tasks set. In addition, it is made clear what DVM-U can provide, that a printed textbook cannot. The second research question is answered by the teachers’ experiences using DVM-U, and my own evaluation of the web resource. I have gained access to the teachers’ experiences with DVM-U through interviews with four teachers, as well as an online survey. The survey consisted of 21 questions about the web resource and was answered by 20 teachers who knew DVM-U. The results show that DVM-U and Sirkel for 9th grade covers many of the same topics, which is considered positive in regards to a combined use of the teaching materials. Still, the lessons the teaching material are divided into have different mathematical focus, which leads the teachers to spend time examining what learning packages DVM-U consist of, and what mathematical content in Sirkel it will fit. The teachers’ experiences and evaluation of DVM-U lead to the conclusion that DVM-U is not particularly technical friendly. Regarding pedagogical usability, the evaluation shows that DVM-U has several contributing factors that motivates students to learn mathematics. Still, there is room for improvements. The thesis therefore ends with suggestions of improvements in DVM-U which I believe may help to increase students’ motivation to learn mathematics, and that can make it easier for teachers to implement the web resource in the teaching of mathematics.
Masteroppgave matematikkdidaktikk – Universitetet i Agder 2016