Effects of online visual and interactive technological tool (OVITT) on early adolescent students' mathematics performance, math anxiety and attitudes toward math.
Orabuchi, Nkechi Ijeoma
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This study reported the results of a 3-month quasi-experimental study that determined the effectiveness of an online visual and interactive technological tool on sixth grade students' mathematics performance, math anxiety and attitudes towards math. There were 155 sixth grade students from a middle school in the North Texas area who participated in the study receiving pretests and posttests on their math performance, math anxiety, and attitudes toward math. The Demographic Information Form was given to parents along with a consent form to gather information on the parents' and students' families. The 2009 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test was used to measure students' math performance. The Math Anxiety Scale-Revised (MAS-R) and Attitudes Towards Math Inventory (ATMI) were used to measure students' math anxiety and attitudes toward math respectively. Questions about Brainingcamp, an educational math software for 6th through 8th grade students, were given to the experimental group to gather information on their computer use and about their belief about the help provided from the program. Brainingcamp is an online, visual and interactive technological tool that provides visual lessons, interactive virtual manipulatives, and other ways to help students to understand abstract concepts in a more concrete manner. The research found that there were no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups, but there were improvements within both groups on their math performance from pretest to posttest. Furthermore, this research found a statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups on their math anxiety. The results also revealed that all students decreased on their self-confidence and motivation in math. However, the female students in the experimental group increased on their value of math while the males in both groups had a slight increase on their enjoyment of math. Based on ethnicity, White and Other (comprised of American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Biracial, and Other ethnic groups) students increased on their enjoyment of math in the experimental group and Black and Other students increased on their enjoyment of math in the control group. Mothers' level of education was also examined and the results showed that the students' mothers' educational level was not a significant predictor. The findings of the study are important to provide parents, teacher educators, and school administrators information to consider regarding the effects of online visual and interactive technological tools on students' math performance, math anxiety, and attitudes toward math because computer programs used in the classroom provide children the interaction needed to connect to their real life experiences (Woolfolk & Perry, 2012). In addition, teacher educators and school administrators may want to use online visual and interactive technological tools as a scaffolding tool in addition to the common instructional methods used in the math classroom.