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Chen, "Learning mathematics problem solving through personalized computer-assisted program in Taiwan," 2005

USC Dissertation in Education.
August 24, 2009

Chen, Chiu-Jung, Ed.D.

Abstract (Summary)
The study evaluated the effects of a personalized computer-assisted mathematics problem-solving program on the performance and attitude of fourth grade Taiwanese students. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the personalized computer-assisted program in mathematics word problems improves student performance and attitude over the non-personalized program. A total of 165 Taiwanese fourth-grade students participated in the study. The research used the pretest-to-posttest to determine if the computer-assisted program was effective between the two groups. The problem-solving exam was based on mathematics word problems.

All of the subjects were randomly assigned to a personalized or non-personalized group. In the personalized group, students completed a survey asking them what their favorite classes, fruits, sports, and supermarkets were. Their preferences were then used to create personalized mathematics word problems in the computer-assisted program. In the non-personalized group, students took the same survey as the personalized group, but were taught the same mathematics using a standard lesson in the computer-assisted program. Both groups used the computer-assisted program for the pre-test, the mathematics word problem lessons, and post-test. There were four types of mathematics word problems: multiply-multiply, multiply-divide, divide-multiply, and divide-divide. After completing all the tests related to the computer-assisted program, all students completed a student attitude survey through computer-assisted program. The computer-assisted program used in the research was Chinese version and was edited by the author of this paper. The English version was created by Dr. Ku in University of Northern Colorado.

The results of the study showed that the personalized computer-assisted program on mathematics word problems improved student performance and attitude. The achievement of students in the personalized group was significantly higher than those in the non-personalized group. The posttest score of the personalized group was significantly higher than the posttest score of the non-personalized group. There is no specific gender difference in the pretest and posttest scores between the personalized group and the non-personalized group. The attitude of students in the personalized group was significantly more positive than those in the non-personalized group.

Advisor: Hagedorn, Linda Serra