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A Statistical Analysis on the Effectiveness of Using a Computer Algebra System in a Development Algebra Course

N. Shaw
B. Jean
R. Peck
Journal / Anthology

Journal of Mathematical Behavior
Year: 16
Volume: 2
Issue: 1997
Page range: 175-180

We evaluate the effectiveness of using a Computer Algebra System (CAS) in an Intermediate Algebra course. We measure the effectiveness of using technology in this developmental course by comparing the grade distributions in a follow-up course of three groups: students who went through the technology based course, students who went through a traditional course, and students who were not required to take a developmental course. This study indicates that using a CAS is a very effective teaching tool for the developmental mathematics program. We found that the students in the developmental program which had the technology based course did at least as well as the students who did not need to take any developmental courses. This is a real improvement since we also found that students who took the traditional Intermediate Algebra course did not do as well in subsequent courses as students who took the technology based course.