Evaluating the impact of electronic voting systems on university mathematics teaching and learning
2010-10-12T08:16:49Z (GMT) by
This thesis presents an evaluation of the impact of the use of Electronic Voting Systems (EVS) on mathematics teaching and learning, based on the research question: What are the views of academic staff on the impact of EVS use on their mathematics teaching; and how has EVS use influenced student engagement and learning approach to mathematics? To answer the question, a descriptive survey of academic staff, and semi-structured interviews with students were conducted; data from these studies were supplemented by classroom observations of EVS use, relevant documentary evidence, and preliminary studies conducted. Survey data was analysed via quantitative techniques; while the annotated interview transcripts were analysed via thematic analysis, and the application of an integrated theoretical framework. The validity, reliability and replicability of both studies were also established. The findings show that feedback is viewed as the single, most beneficial impact of EVS use, as it enables instructors, through formative assessment, to identify student misconceptions, which then helps instructors to focus on the identified problem areas. EVS has also positively impacted student emotion, behaviour, and cognition. EVS use helps focus student attention, enhances participation and interactivity, and enables students to cognitively engage with learning material. The adoption of an integrated theoretical framework helps to characterise, and to reveal qualitative differences in student learning approaches. Also, the use of specific EVS question types tends to induce specific learning approaches in students. Implications of the findings include the need for EVS-using instructors to have clearly defined pedagogical objectives and well-designed questions, and for learners to re-adapt their mathematical ideas in response to EVS feedback. Findings also show the need to incorporate instructional measures that would promote both procedural and conceptual learning approaches in students, and to perhaps rethink the role of calculator usage and guesswork in student approaches to learning. The requirements for technologies that may replace EVS, the need to align assessment with instructional practices, and for instructors to undergo further EVS training and/or form mathematics-specific support group(s) are also highlighted.