טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentAroshas Shmuel )Shuki(
SubjectTeaching Calculus with Applications as an Approach to
Enhancing Students' Understanding, Achievements
and Motivation
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Professor Emeritus Abraham Berman
Professor Igor Verner


Abstract

This work reports a study in which applications were integrated in the Multivariable Calculus course at the Technion in the form of supplementary applications tutorials. Different methods of integrating applications in the course were developed and tested.

The effect of learning applications on students' achievements, understanding and attitudes was examined. The methodology of education design experiments was used as an adequate framework for research in which the learning environment is developed along with the educational process and its characteristics largely determine the efficiency of learning.

The first stage of the research was a pilot study in which several teaching methods were tried and a collection of applied problems was generated.

An experimental and a control groups (N=33 each) participated in the main study.

The results were:

1.  The mean exam grades of the experimental group were 8.9 points higher than that of the control group in the midterm exam and 6.3 points higher in the final exam. The differences between the groups in both exams were found significant.

2.  The experimental group gave a significantly higher evaluation for the contribution of the course in relation to all the aspects mentioned in the work.

3.  The two groups were of the same opinion about the need of addressing different   learning styles and integrating applied problems.

In the final stage of the research 50 students were offered applications tutorials prior to the study of the theory in the lectures. Almost all the students found these tutorials very helpful in understanding the theory.