Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(3), 257-279. (2009).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Web-based instruction (WBI) and traditional teaching methods on preservice elementary teachers’ procedural knowledge and their conceptual knowledge of fractions.
The specific questions investigated in the study were as follows:
1. What is the effect of WBI on students’ procedural knowledge on posttest scores when their pretest scores were used as a covariate?
2. What is the difference in students’ procedural knowledge in eight areas of fraction concepts on posttest scores in the experimental and control groups?
3. What is the effect of WBI on students’ conceptual knowledge on posttest scores when their pretest scores were used as a covariate?
4. What is the difference in students’ conceptual knowledge of eight areas of fraction concepts on posttest scores in the experimental and control groups?
Students’ knowledge of fractions was measured using a Fraction Knowledge Test. The test consisted of 32 items and was administered as pre and posttests to a total of 42 preservice teachers in two intact classes at the same university
The subjects of this study were 42 university students aged 18 to 21 who attending two classes in a College of Education. 40 of the participants were female and 2 of them were male.
The minimum number of math courses required by the university is four. All the participants were in a teacher education program, having completed two required prerequisite courses.
One class was randomly assigned to the experimental group (n = 21), while the other class formed the control group (n = 21).
The students in the experimental group were taught with Web-based resources related to fraction concepts, while the students in the control group received traditional instruction. All students were taught by the same instructor, and both groups received 6 weeks of instruction, or 18 hours, in the study.
Analysis of covariance was used to determine treatment effects on students’ knowledge of fractions when the pretest result was used as a covariate.
The analysis of results showed a statistically significant difference between the experimental and the control groups’ posttest mean scores in favor of the experimental group.
The results indicated that when the preservice teachers instructed with Web-based resources related to fraction concepts, it constituted an effective method in providing students with an opportunity to promote both their procedural and conceptual understandings.
It is recommended that mathematics teacher education programs should take into consideration the use of technology for preparing preservice teachers to teach fractions effectively in tomorrow’s mathematics classroom.