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A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ON STUDENTS' VISUAL AND NONVISUAL THINKING PREFERENCES: COMPARING PAPERPENCIL AND DYNAMIC SOFTWARE BASED STRATEGIES OF ALGEBRA WORD PROBLEMS
 Date Issued:
 2011
 Abstract/Description:
 In this multiplecase study, I developed cases describing three students' (Mary, Ryan and David) solution methods for algebra word problems and investigated the effect of technology on their solution methods by making inferences about their preferences for visual or nonvisual solutions. Furthermore, I examined the students' solution methods when presented with virtual physical representations of the situations described in the problems and attempted to explain the effect of those representations on students' thinking preferences. In this study, the use of technology referred to the use of the dynamic software program Geogebra. Suwarsono's (1982) Mathematical Processing Instrument (MPI) was administered to determine their preferences for visual and nonvisual thinking. During the interviews, students were presented with paperandpencilbased tasks (PBTs), Geogebrabased tasks (GBTs) and Geogebrabased tasks with virtual physical representations (GBTVPRs). Each category included 10 algebra word problems, with similar problems across categories. (i.e., PBT 9, GBT 9 and GBTVPR 9 were similar). By investigating students' methods of solution and their use of representations in solving those tasks, I compared and contrasted their preferences for visual and nonvisual methods when solving problems with and without technology. The comparison between their solutions of PBTs and GBTs revealed how dynamic software influenced their method of solution. Regardless of students' preferences for visual and nonvisual solutions, with the use of dynamic software students employed more visual methods when presented with GBTs. When visual methods were as accessible and easy to use as nonvisual methods, students preferred to use them, thus demonstrating that they possessed a more complete knowledge of problemsolving with dynamic software than their work on the PBTs. Nowadays, we can construct virtual physical representations of the problems in technology environments that will help students explore the relationships and look for patterns that can be used to solve the problem. Unlike GBTs, GBTVPRs did not influence students' preferences for visual or nonvisual methods. Students continued to rely on methods that they preferred since their preferences for visual or nonvisual solutions regarding GBTPRs were similar to their solution preferences for the problems on MPI that was administered to them to determine their preferences for visual or nonvisual methods. Mary, whose MPI score suggested that she preferred to solve mathematics problems using nonvisual methods, solved GBTVPRs with nonvisual methods. Ryan, whose MPI score suggested that he preferred to solve mathematics problems using visual methods, solved GBTVPRs with visual methods. David, whose MPI score suggested that he preferred to solve mathematics problems using both visual and nonvisual methods, solved GBTVPRs with both visual and nonvisual methods.
Title:  A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ON STUDENTS' VISUAL AND NONVISUAL THINKING PREFERENCES: COMPARING PAPERPENCIL AND DYNAMIC SOFTWARE BASED STRATEGIES OF ALGEBRA WORD PROBLEMS. 
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Name(s): 
Coskun, Sirin, Author Dixon, Juli, Committee Chair University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor 

Type of Resource:  text  
Date Issued:  2011  
Publisher:  University of Central Florida  
Language(s):  English  
Abstract/Description:  In this multiplecase study, I developed cases describing three students' (Mary, Ryan and David) solution methods for algebra word problems and investigated the effect of technology on their solution methods by making inferences about their preferences for visual or nonvisual solutions. Furthermore, I examined the students' solution methods when presented with virtual physical representations of the situations described in the problems and attempted to explain the effect of those representations on students' thinking preferences. In this study, the use of technology referred to the use of the dynamic software program Geogebra. Suwarsono's (1982) Mathematical Processing Instrument (MPI) was administered to determine their preferences for visual and nonvisual thinking. During the interviews, students were presented with paperandpencilbased tasks (PBTs), Geogebrabased tasks (GBTs) and Geogebrabased tasks with virtual physical representations (GBTVPRs). Each category included 10 algebra word problems, with similar problems across categories. (i.e., PBT 9, GBT 9 and GBTVPR 9 were similar). By investigating students' methods of solution and their use of representations in solving those tasks, I compared and contrasted their preferences for visual and nonvisual methods when solving problems with and without technology. The comparison between their solutions of PBTs and GBTs revealed how dynamic software influenced their method of solution. Regardless of students' preferences for visual and nonvisual solutions, with the use of dynamic software students employed more visual methods when presented with GBTs. When visual methods were as accessible and easy to use as nonvisual methods, students preferred to use them, thus demonstrating that they possessed a more complete knowledge of problemsolving with dynamic software than their work on the PBTs. Nowadays, we can construct virtual physical representations of the problems in technology environments that will help students explore the relationships and look for patterns that can be used to solve the problem. Unlike GBTs, GBTVPRs did not influence students' preferences for visual or nonvisual methods. Students continued to rely on methods that they preferred since their preferences for visual or nonvisual solutions regarding GBTPRs were similar to their solution preferences for the problems on MPI that was administered to them to determine their preferences for visual or nonvisual methods. Mary, whose MPI score suggested that she preferred to solve mathematics problems using nonvisual methods, solved GBTVPRs with nonvisual methods. Ryan, whose MPI score suggested that he preferred to solve mathematics problems using visual methods, solved GBTVPRs with visual methods. David, whose MPI score suggested that he preferred to solve mathematics problems using both visual and nonvisual methods, solved GBTVPRs with both visual and nonvisual methods.  
Identifier:  CFE0003900 (IID), ucf:48733 (fedora)  
Note(s): 
20110801 Ph.D. Education, School of Teaching Learning and Leadership Doctorate This record was generated from author submitted information. 

Subject(s): 
Problem solving representations solution methods technology dynamic software algebra 

Persistent Link to This Record:  http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003900  
Restrictions on Access:  public  
Host Institution:  UCF 