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Title: Screencasts - are they the panacea for dealing with students' diverse mathematical skills?
Contributor(s): Wilkes, Janelle  (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Background: In this study the implementation of screencasts (video of computer screen with voiceover) as a strategy to address the diversity in mathematical backgrounds of students undertaking a third year surveying unit in both on campus and in distance modes, was investigated. This cohort of students did not have strong mathematical backgrounds, either at high school or university level, a reflection of a national sector wide trend. Barrington (2009) reported between 1995 and 2007 the number of students in Australia studying the highest levels of mathematics in Year 12, Intermediate and Advanced mathematics, declined by 22% and 27%, respectively. Correspondingly, there was an increase of 30% in students studying Elementary mathematics, and this situation is often compounded by a lack of retention of mathematical concepts between high school and university (Jennings, 2009). Purpose: Identify the mathematical background of students enrolled in a third year surveying unit, then determine if screencasts are easy to use, help students understand mathematical concepts and are helpful for revision. Design/Method: To overcome the difficulty of teaching students with different levels of mathematical background screencasts were embedded into this unit from 2009. To determine the background mathematical level of the cohort and the effectiveness of this teaching strategy, each year students were asked to voluntarily participate in a questionnaire from 2009 to 2011, which included qualitative and four part Likert scale (strongly agree-disagree) questions. Results: Of the 53 students completing the questionnaire over three years, it was apparent the cohort included students with diverse educational background, as 25% had not completed the Higher School Certificate (or equivalent); 32% had studied mathematics at Year 12 Elementary level or School Certificate level; and 25% had studied mathematics at advanced Year 12 level. Screencasts were well received with 84% user rate; and of these students, 95% found screencasts easy to use, 98% found they made the steps in the calculation easy to follow and 93% found they were beneficial when studying for the quizzes and exam in the unit. Conclusions: Use of screencast in information literacy and computing has been previously investigated in the literature but it is poorly researched in mathematical concepts. In this case students found these resources easy to use and very helpful in assisting their understanding of mathematical concepts, especially for distance students.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: AAEE 2012: 23rd Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, Melbourne, Australia, 3rd - 5th December, 2012
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the 2012 Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) Annual Conference, p. 661-669
Publisher: Swinburne University of Technology
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390405 Educational technology and computing
409999 Other engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930201 Pedagogy
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160302 Pedagogy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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