Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Effect of a Computer Mediated Systems Teaching Approach on Mathematics Anxiety of Engineering Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Education

Effect of a Computer Mediated Systems Teaching Approach on Mathematics Anxiety of Engineering Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The effect of a Computer Mediated Systems Teaching Approach (CMSTA) on engineering students' mathematics anxiety was investigated and reported in this paper. Specifically, the study determined (a) if the mean Mathematics Anxiety Level (MAL) of the students taught mathematics using the CMSTA will be significantly lower than that of those not taught with the same approach and (b) whether the MALs of the students taught mathematics using the CMSTA will significantly differ by gender? A sample of 470 students (with 267 in the experimental and 203 in control groups) and 445 students (with 256 in the experimental and 189 in control groups) took the pretest and posttest respectively. A four stage procedure was adopted for the experiment where treatment administration lasted for 12 weeks. Pretest and posttest administration of the Revised Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (RMARS) on the subjects showed that while significant difference was found between the mean MAL of the experimental and control groups, none was found between that of the male and female students taught mathematics using the CMSTA.

Keywords: computer mediated systems teaching approach, mathematics anxiety

1. Introduction

The need for computer usage in education is no longer debatable. However, the assertion that most schools in many developing countries use 19th century technologies and methods to teach (Commonwealth Secretariat, 1991) still persists. This situation is perturbing because in this global information revolution era, schools are no longer expected to continue to offer a curriculum based on a view of information which dates back to the time when knowledge seem stable and bounded (Commonwealth Secretariat, 1991). It is observed that this is the current situation regarding the teaching/learning of mathematics at the various tiers of Nigeria's education system, which has been bedeviled by students' exhibition of high Mathematics Anxiety Levels (MALs), amongst other problems. It is believed that the opportunities afforded by new, improved and emerging technological developments in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have the potential of providing the much needed impetus for addressing this problem. The use of the Computer Mediated Systems Teaching Approach (CMSTA) to teach mathematics, whose effect on MAL of engineering students was investigated in this study, is hinged on the premise that computers are not only veritable means of enhancing students mathematics learning process, but can also be used to address challenges mathematics anxiety poses to mathematics learning.

From the time computers began to be used to enhance the teaching/learning process, which dates back to the 1950s (O'shea& self, 1983), Leinonen (2005) summarily posits that the Programming, Drill and Practice phase, the Computer Based Training (CBT) with multimedia phase, the Internet Based Training (IBT) phase, the e-Learning phase and the Social Software plus Free and Open content phase are the main paradigm shifts that characterizes this five major phases portraying various efforts in the deployment of computers to enhance the teaching/learning process. These changing phases conform to observations from literatures on curriculum studies that a major area of concern in the deployment of technology in education is how best to utilize technological advancements to prepare students for a society that is increasingly being technologically driven. Using technology to address mathematics anxiety is believed to be an effort in this direction; particularly that literature review revealed that researches on the use of computers in Nigeria's education system were not focused on finding their effects on engineering students MALs. In addition therefore, this study is an effort to close the existing dearth of research work on the effect of computer usage on engineering students MALs.

2. Conceptual Framework

2.1 Computer Mediated Systems Teaching Approach (CMSTA)

Herein, CMSTA is defined with substantial recourse to the definition of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) because teaching, in all its ramifications, is an activity which is basically communicative in nature. …

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