TEACHERS’ CONCEPTIONS OF MATHEMATICS & INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEM Use

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TEACHERS’ CONCEPTIONS OF MATHEMATICS AND INTELLIGENT TUTORING SYSTEM Use is a well-researched Education  Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research

Abstract

This mixed-methods study was used to investigate the relationship between teachers’ conceptions of mathematics and their use of intelligent tutoring systems for instruction. The participants were 93 junior high school mathematics teachers from three school districts in the Midwest. Data were gathered using a two-part online survey. The first part contained questions about teachers’ use of intelligent tutoring systems and other mathematics-focused technology.

The second part contained Likert questions from the teachers’ version of the Conceptions of Mathematics Inventory. The quantitative analysis examined the relationship between teachers’ conceptions and their use or non-use of intelligent tutoring systems and other mathematics-specific technologies using eight separate 2×5 mixed ANOVAS.

The five-level within-subject factors were the yes/no responses to questions pertaining to the use of intelligent tutoring systems, graphing calculators, dynamic geometry software, and Desmos. Four yes/no questions addressed whether the technologies were used for teaching. Four yes/no questions addressed how intelligent tutoring systems were used.

Teachers using intelligent tutoring systems were asked if they used them to teach concepts, teach procedures, practice procedures, or fill-gaps in student knowledge. The dependent variable was each dimension’s average of eight 5-point Likert items from the Conceptions of Mathematics Inventory.

The quantitative analysis revealed no statistically significant interactions between teachers’ conception scores and intelligent tutoring system use, or between teachers’ conception scores and how they were used. There were statistically significant interactions between teachers’ conception scores and their use of graphing calculators, Desmos, and dynamic geometry software.

The qualitative analysis examined teachers’ written responses on their use of technology using a constant comparative method. The analysis revealed that teachers used intelligent tutoring systems for differentiation. Teachers used graphing calculators, dynamic geometry software, and Desmos for visual, computational, and exploratory
purposes.

An overarching pattern of technology use demonstrated that teachers used intelligent tutoring systems mostly for procedural practice and filling gaps. Graphing calculators were employed mostly for computation and visualization. Desmos was used for exploratory activities.

A subset of teachers selected and employed multiple technologies to address instructional and pedagogical needs. Teachers exclusively using intelligent tutoring systems to incorporate technology should also incorporate technology which promotes student exploration.

INTRODUCTION

It is a typical day in a junior high school mathematics classroom. The teacher uses a PowerPoint to review homework before using an interactive whiteboard to instruct students on rates and proportions. During the lesson, various students wonder what variety of rates could be found at the local grocery store, so they use their smartphones to search for advertisements.

Encouraged by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000), and facilitated by increased availability and decreased cost, technology use in mathematics classrooms is omnipresent but varies in both form and use. Graphing calculators, smartphone apps, interactive whiteboard technologies, dynamic geometry software, and intelligent tutoring systems are examples of common technologies used in mathematics classrooms today.

While research has explored teacher use of mathematics-specific technologies (Brown et al., 2007; Lee & McDougall, 2010), there is a void in research on teachers’ use of intelligent tutoring systems. Additionally, there is very little research on how teachers use technologies like intelligent tutoring systems and how their conceptions of mathematics might influence that use.

The purpose of this study is to understand how a teacher’s conception of mathematics is related to his or her use of intelligent tutoring systems.

Intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) are a form of computer or internet learning that is adaptable, “encompassing all forms of teaching and learning that are electronically supported, through the internet or not, in the form of texts, images, animations, audios, or videos” (Steenbergen-Hu & Cooper, 2013, p. 971).

ITSs are characterized by the self-paced structure of the program that asks questions or assigns tasks, and assists when needed according to a mapped multidimensional model of the cognitive state of a student (Shute & Zapata-Rivera, 2007; Sottilare, Graesser, Hu, & Holden, 2013).

It is unclear how many teachers use it to engage students in mathematics. Based on database searches, contacts with publishers and ITS experts, it is evident that there exists no such published information. What is evident is that ITSs have increased in number and efficiency since their inception over thirty years ago (C. Koedinger, Koedinger, & Anderson, 1997).

Preliminary results from an unpublished survey in the state where this research will be conducted indicates that 93% of teachers using ITS under a state grant were not using this type of software four years ago (C. Ames, personal communication, June 4, 2018).

To date, much of the ITS research has focused on student outcomes and the overall efficacy of ITS instruction via different learning programs (Chu, Yang, Tseng, & Yang, 2014; Ma, Adesope, Nesbit, & Qing, 2014; Steenbergen-Hu & Cooper, 2013) and ITS design (Arevalillo-Herráez, Arnau, & Marco-Giménez, 2013; Baker et al., 2006; K. R. Koedinger, Anderson, Hadley, & Mark, 1997).

Though Erümit and Vagifoglu Nabokov (2015) reported on teachers’ opinions of ITSs, no studies exist which address teachers’ conceptions of mathematics and their use of it.

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Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Category

Education

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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