Ph.D. Thesis, Virginia PolytechnicInstitute and State University, October, 2019.

Paper abstract bibtex

Paper abstract bibtex

This study examined the effects of computational labs in Business Calculus classes used at a single, private institution on student outcomes of conceptual understanding of calculus and attitudes towards mathematics. The first manuscript addresses the changes in conceptual understanding through multiple-method research design, a quantitative survey given pre and post study and qualitative student comments, found no significant gains in conceptualknowledge as measured by a concept inventory, however, student comments revealed valuable knowledge demonstrated through reflection on and articulation of how specific calculus concepts could be used in real world applications. The second manuscript presents results to the effects on attitudes toward mathematics, studied through multiple-method research design, using a quantitative survey given at two intervals, pre and post, and analysis of student comments, which showed that students that participated in the labs had a smaller decline in attitude, although not statistically significant, than students that did not complete the labs and the labs were most impactful on students that had previously taken calculus; student comments overwhelmingly demonstrate that students felt and appreciated that the labs allowed themto see how calculus could be applied outside the classroom. Overall students felt the labs were beneficial in the development of advantageous habits, taught some a skill they hope to further develop and study, and provided several recommendations for improvement in future implementation. Collectively, this research serves as a foundation for the effectiveness of computational tools employed in general education mathematics courses, which is not currently a widespread practice.

@phdthesis{bielle_tinsley_spence-tyree_computational_2019, type = {{PhD}}, title = {Computational {Labs} in {Calculus}: {Examining} the {Effects} on {Conceptual} {Understanding} and {AttitudeToward} {Mathematics}}, url = {https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/95835/Spencer-Tyree_BT_D_2019.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y}, abstract = {This study examined the effects of computational labs in Business Calculus classes used at a single, private institution on student outcomes of conceptual understanding of calculus and attitudes towards mathematics. The first manuscript addresses the changes in conceptual understanding through multiple-method research design, a quantitative survey given pre and post study and qualitative student comments, found no significant gains in conceptualknowledge as measured by a concept inventory, however, student comments revealed valuable knowledge demonstrated through reflection on and articulation of how specific calculus concepts could be used in real world applications. The second manuscript presents results to the effects on attitudes toward mathematics, studied through multiple-method research design, using a quantitative survey given at two intervals, pre and post, and analysis of student comments, which showed that students that participated in the labs had a smaller decline in attitude, although not statistically significant, than students that did not complete the labs and the labs were most impactful on students that had previously taken calculus; student comments overwhelmingly demonstrate that students felt and appreciated that the labs allowed themto see how calculus could be applied outside the classroom. Overall students felt the labs were beneficial in the development of advantageous habits, taught some a skill they hope to further develop and study, and provided several recommendations for improvement in future implementation. Collectively, this research serves as a foundation for the effectiveness of computational tools employed in general education mathematics courses, which is not currently a widespread practice.}, language = {en}, school = {Virginia PolytechnicInstitute and State University}, author = {{Bielle Tinsley Spence-Tyree}}, month = oct, year = {2019}, keywords = {STEM Education, calculus, college and university calculus, computational labs, integrative-stem education, mathematics education, mentions sympy, undergraduate mathematics}, }

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