Instructors' attitudes toward the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics in Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary institutions: a mixed methods study

Jesso, Andrew Thomas (2013) Instructors' attitudes toward the use of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics in Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary institutions: a mixed methods study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

According to the literature, contemporary educational technology may enhance students' understanding of mathematics and consequently increase students' achievements in the subject. The goal of this research was to investigate to what extent technology was being used by instructors of undergraduate mathematics in Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary institutions, and why some available technological applications were not being implemented in their teaching of mathematics. -- T his thesis presents an interpretive mixed methods study. Firstly, a questionnaire was administered to thirteen post-secondary mathematics instructors in order to clarify their backgrounds, teaching styles, professional views on, and experiences with technology. Secondly, eight of these same instructors were selected for an interview to further discuss in more detail their attitudes toward teaching mathematics with technology. -- This research reveals that instructors are mostly using technology for organizational and communication purposes. The use of mathematics specific technology for tutorial, exploratory, and creative activities with students takes place mostly on an individual basis and only occasionally, and depends on the topic. -- Four major themes emerged from the data: (1) how teaching has changed over time due to the increasing capability and availability of technology for students' and instructors' use, (2) how does the presence of technology influence mathematics curriculum and pedagogy, (3) what are various purposes, advantages, and challenges faced during the process of incorporation of technology in teaching, and ( 4) what is the relationship between students' use of technology and students' knowledge of the fundamentals of mathematics. -- While seeing the values and benefits that technology may offer in teaching, instructors were concerned about the associated costs such as the amount of time, effort, specialists support, and pedagogical knowledge required to the successfulness of its implementation. Instructors worry about possible disadvantages that may follow from improper implementation of technology. They also point out the importance of focused instructional development, collegial support, and departmental initiatives for individual instructors to proceed with technological innovations. -- The implications of this study for the post-secondary educational system in Newfoundland and Labrador are also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10740
Item ID: 10740
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 125-136).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching (Higher)--Newfoundland and Labrador; Educational technology--Newfoundland and Labrador; College teachers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes; Mathematics teachers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes.

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