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MSP LNC 2011


Inquiry and Didactic Instruction in a Computer-Assisted Context: A Quasi-Experimental Study

Summary

We compare incorporating inquiry-based sessions versus traditional lecture sessions, and a blend of the two approaches, in an elementary algebra course in which the pedagogy consistent among treatments is computer-assisted instruction. We hypothesize that inquiry-based sessions benefit students significantly in terms of mathematical content knowledge, problem-solving, and communications. Students are randomly assigned for the semester to one of three treatments (two inquiry-based meetings, two lecture meeting, or one of each, weekly). Measures, including pre- and post- tests with both open-ended and objective items, are described. Statistically significant differences have previously been observed in similar quasi- experimental studies of multiple sections of finite mathematics (Fall, 2008) and elementary algebra (Fall, 2009). Undergraduates, including many pre-service elementary teachers, take this developmental algebra course.