The effectiveness of hints during computer supported word problem solving

de Kock, W. D., 2016, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 242 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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  • Willem Daniel de Kock
Mathematics education in primary school presents students with word problems realistic context that can be solved with their mathematical knowledge. However, many students have difficulties with word problems. To overcome the difficulties, computer programmes with hints are offered. One of these programmes is tested in this dissertation. The programme is web-based.

The dissertation focused on two goals: 1) to study if teachers could implement the programme in their mathematics classes effectively, and 2) to find out whether the students’ use of the hints in the programme could be improved by adapting the content or presentation of hints.

The first study shows that teachers were able to organise the use of the programme during mathematics class. However, some students failed to solve problems and did not use the hints. Later studies indicated that the programme is more effective if procedural-content hints are presented instead of procedural-only hints and that hints having a visual schema with spoken explanations (visual-audio format) were more effective than hints with a visual schma and explanations in text (visual-only format). Solving problems collaborative with the programme improved students’ use of hints, but did not lead to improvement in problem solving skills..

Further research could investigate in more detail how students select hints and use them to amend their own problem solving process. The information could lead to more detailed recommendations to make word problem solving programmes more effective.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Award date24-Nov-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs9789036793483
Electronic ISBNs9789036793476
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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