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Visualization and Students' Performance in Technology-based Calculus

E. Galindo
Journal / Anthology

Proceedings of the 17th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
Year: 1995
Volume: 2
Page range: 321-327

The relationship between college students' preferred mode of processing mathematical information - visual or nonvisual - and their performance in calculus classes with and without technology was investigated. Students elected one of three different versions of an introductory differential calculus course: using graphing calculators, using the computer algebra system Mathematica, or using no technology. A total of 139 students participated in the research. Presmeg's Mathematical Processing Instrument (MPI) was used to determine students' visual processing preference. The interactions of students of different visual processing preferences with the software Mathematica were also investigated using task-based interviews. Results from the sections using graphing calculators suggest that appropriate uses of technology may equally benefit students of different cognitive styles.