Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education

First Advisor

Angela T. Barlow

Second Advisor

William J. Sumrall

Third Advisor

Lori Wolff

Abstract

This study sought to examine the impact of instructional use of smart pen technology on the mathematics achievement and attitudes of community college students enrolled in a College Algebra course. This quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study utilized a nonequivalent control-group design. In this study, two sections of College Algebra were analyzed with one section serving as a treatment group which had access to an online archival of smart pen documents. The other section served as a control group which had access to an online archival of digital documents which did not have smart pen capabilities. The first hypothesis sought to analyze the effect of the pen on students' mathematics achievement. Pretest and posttest data were collected from students in both sections. Using an ANCOVA test, results indicated that there was no significant difference in mean mathematics achievement scores by instructor's use of the smart pen as an instructional aid when controlling for pretest scores. The second hypothesis examined the number of times students viewed the online documents. The online communication platform collected data regarding how often each document was accessed by the students. Using a one-way chi square test, results indicated there was no significant difference in the distribution of student views of online course notes by the existence of smart pen documents for instructional use. The third research question investigated student attitudes regarding mathematics. This question was explored qualitatively using participant interviews from each group. Using an interview protocol, the researcher questioned students about their attitudes toward mathematics, mathematics self-efficacy, use of the online documents, and satisfaction with the course. Responses of the interviews indicated that participants from each group held different views of how the documents should be utilized. Students from the treatment group also seemed to be more satisfied with their understanding attained in the course. Findings indicated that the instructor's use of smart pen technology did not significantly impact student achievement or attitudes. This lack of significance could be attributed to the low number of students who actually accessed the documents. The findings indicate the need for further research regarding the effects of smart pen technology.

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