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Effects of Differing Technological Approaches on Students' Use of Numerical, Graphical and Symbolic Representations and Their Understanding of Calculus

Donald T. Porzio
Journal / Anthology

Proceedings of the 17th Ann. Mtg of the North American Chapter of the Intl Group for Psychology of Education
Volume: 1
Page range: 228

Research on the effects of using different forms of technology in calculus instruction has typically focused on using technology to emphasize concept understanding while de-emphasizing routine computational skills. This study investigates the impact of different instructional approaches to calculus by examining their effects on students' abilities to use and understand connections between representations when solving calculus problems. 100 participants came from intact classes from three different differential calculus courses. The first used a traditional approach to calculus instruction that emphasized use of symbolic representations. The second was similar but instruction stressed use of symbolic representations and graphical representations generated via graphics calculators. The third used the electronic course Calculus&Mathematica (Davis, Porta, and Uhl, 1994) where instruction emphasized use of multiple representations and solving of problems designed to establish or reinforce connections between representations.