Teaching Of Advanced Level Mathematics In Brunei Education Essay

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Introduction

This chapter will explain how the study will be conducted to generate the data needed to address each research question stated in Chapter 1. Also included in this chapter will be the study design, specification of the chosen sample, outlines of study procedures, the instruments used, the data collection tools and techniques used to analyze the data collected.

Study Design

This research study will require a combination of both Quantitative and Qualitative research methods in order to gather the necessary required data to answer the three research questions as stated in the first chapter.

Objectives

The research aims to investigate the extent of the use of ICT in the teaching of Advanced Level Mathematics by Sixth Form teachers in Brunei. Another objective of this research is to investigate the extent of improvement in the students' achievement in Trigonometry with the aids of ICT tools. Finally, the researcher aims to find out the difficulties that students faced when learning Trigonometry.

Study Framework

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The table below shows the framework for the study.

Table 1

Research Study Framework

Research Questions

Data Type

Instrument

Data Collection Strategy

Data Analysis

To what extent do teachers use ICT in the teaching of Advanced Level Mathematics in Brunei?

Quantitative

Questionnaire

Questionnaire

Descriptive

To what extent does learning Trigonometry with ICT-enhanced activities improve students' achievements in Trigonometry?

Quantitative and Qualitative

A paper and pencil pre and post test paper marked out of 33.

Observation and Video-taping

Written tests

Lesson Observations

Descriptive and statistical significance

Transcribed

What are the problems / difficulties encountered by students in the learning and understanding of Trigonometry?

Quantitative and Qualitative

A paper and pencil pre and post test paper marked out of 33.

Interview scripts

Written tests

Student interviews

Descriptive and statistical significance

Transcribed

Sample and Demographic Background of Students

The study will be carried out at Pusat Tingkatan Enam Tutong, a new Sixth Form Centre in Tutong district. The school has an estimated 550 students in both Upper and Lower Six levels.

The samples chosen for this study are 4 classes of Lower Six mixed ability students undertaking Advanced Level Mathematics.

Table 1

Sample Classes and Students' Background Knowledge

Class

Lower 6 Block

No. of Students

No. of Students With Additional Mathematics Knowledge

Male

Female

1

(Experimental)

2B

(Experimental)

(Control)

(Control)

Table 1 shows the classes from which the sample for the study are taken, the number of boys and girls in the respective classes and their background knowledge of Additional Mathematics i.e. whether the students have taken up Additional Mathematics during their O'Levels.

Lesson Design

Table 2

Sample Classes and Procedure Outlines

Class

Lower 6 Block

Procedures

Pre-Test

ICT based Instructions

Post-Test

1

(Experimental)

√

√

√

2B

(Experimental)

√

√

√

(Control)

√

X

√

(Control)

√

X

√

Table 2 briefly illustrates how the samples groups were studied. There are 2 experimental groups (i.e. Blocks 1 and 2B) and 2 control groups (i.e. Blocks and ) from the same school chosen for the study. The experimental groups will be exposed to teaching using ICT whereas the control groups will be taught using traditional method of teaching (i.e. chalk-and-talk method).

Control Groups

The materials used in the teaching of the control groups consist of prepared notes, whiteboard and exercises. The teacher teaching the control groups will give the instructions through the traditional method that is by delivering lectures using the notes and frequently using the whiteboard. The teacher requires the students to solve the exercises given in the notes after having shown a few examples on the whiteboard. Daily assignments will be given to the students and checked regularly by the teacher.

Experimental Groups

The students from the experimental groups will receive the ICT based lessons. The researcher (i.e. the facilitator) will deliver the lessons by providing worksheets that contained activities which required the use of different Mathematical Software. The software used will either be pre-installed by the facilitator before any lesson is conducted or downloaded from the internet. The software includes Geogebra applet software (Internet based) and also Autograph (pre-installed).

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Meeting

A meeting session was held with the Principal of the selected school to seek permission to conduct the research. Another session was administered with the cooperating tutors to seek permission to use their classes for the research study. The cooperating tutor from the experimental groups was then provided with the details of the study i.e. the objectives and how the lessons will be conducted.

Instruments

Different instruments will be designed to collect the required data to answer the research questions for the study.

Questionnaire

A questionnaire will be designed to answer the first research question i.e. "To what extent do teachers use ICT in the teaching of Advanced Level Mathematics in Brunei?" The designed questionnaire will be pre-checked by the supervisor on content validity. The questionnaire will then be distributed to all the Sixth Form tutors teaching Advanced Level Mathematics in Brunei and hopefully help the researcher to gather the sufficient data required.

Pre-test and Post-test

Two tests (pre and post tests) will be administered to the students from all 4 sample groups. The tests will be the main instruments used in the study to answer the second research question i.e. "To what extent does learning Trigonometry with ICT-enhanced activities improve students' achievements in Trigonometry?" The test items are taken from past examination papers (Cambridge International Examinations 2004 - 2011). All the test papers will have the same number of questions and a total of 33 marks. The test questions mainly focus on solving trigonometric equations and proving trigonometric identities.

Reliability of Test

The test items for the pre-test have been piloted to a class of 22 Upper Six students in Pusat Tingkatan Enam Tutong, a Sixth Form College. The data collected from the test was then analyzed for reliability using SPSS software and the results yielded a Cronbach Alpha of 0.764 and a Split-Half coefficient of 0.795.

Worksheets

ICT based worksheets will be handed out to the students from the experimental group. These worksheets will serve as teaching notes which consist of hands-on activities for students to try using the applied software. The worksheets are designed to introduce a new learning environment for the students which will help enhance their understanding of the Trigonometric concepts.

Interviews

Interviews will be conducted with a random sample of students selected from both experimental groups. The main objective of the interview is to identify the problems or difficulties the student faced during the learning process and also to identify any possible flaws of the planned lesson such as difficulty in using the software or preference of teaching method. The data gathered from the interview will then be used to answer the final research question i.e. "What are the problems / difficulties encountered by students in the learning and understanding of Trigonometry?"

Video-recording

The lessons conducted in both experimental groups will be video-recorded and then analyzed to provide supportive evidence in answering either the second or third research questions.

Treatment of Data

Qualitative Data

Data collected from the interview sessions will be transcribed and analyzed. All the important information analyzed will be categorized according to themes in order to address the research question.

Any information obtained from the video recordings will be transcribed and included as part of the findings.

Quantitative Data

The post-test results will be analyzed using the SPSS software and then compared to the pre test results. Different methods of comparisons will be made using the results obtained and will be discussed later on in the report.

Summary

This chapter summarizes on the design of the study and the methodology used to gather all the necessary information to answer the research questions. Two classes are treated as the experimental groups and another two classes treated as the control groups. Experimental groups will receive their lessons through the use of ICT based activities whereas the control groups will be taught using the traditional method of teaching.