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Less information, more thinking: How attentional behavior predicts learning in mathematics
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It has been shown in experiments that a method of teaching where students are encouraged to create their own solution methods to mathematical problems (creative mathematically founded reasoning, CMR) results in better learning and proficiency than one where students are provided with solution methods for them to practice by repetition (algorithmic reasoning, AR). The present study investigated whether students in an AR practice condition pay less attention to information relevant for mathematical problem solving than students in a CMR condition. To test this, attentional behavior during practice was measured using eye-tracking equipment. These measurements were then associated with task proficiency in a follow-up test one week after the practice session. The findings support the theory and confirm previous studies in that CMR leads to better task performance in the follow-up test. The findings also suggest that students within the CMR condition whom focus less on extraneous information perform better.

Abstract [sv]

Experiment har visat att en undervisningsmetod i vilken elever uppmuntras att själva komma på lösningsmetoder till matematiska problem (creative mathematically founded reasoning, CMR) resulterar i bättre inlärning och färdighet än en metod i vilken eleverna ges en färdig en lösningsmetod att öva på genom repetition (algorithmic reasoning, AR). Denna studie undersöker om elever under en AR-träningsbetingelse ägnar mindre uppmärksamhet åt information som är relevant för matematisk problemlösning än vad elever under en CMR-träningsbetingelse gör. För att testa detta mättes elevernas uppmärksamhetsbeteende under träning med hjälp av ögonrörelsekamera. Måtten ställdes sedan i relation till uppgiftsfärdighet i ett uppföljningstest en vecka efter träningssessionen. Resultaten stödjer teorin och bekräftar tidigare studier som visat att CMR leder till bättre prestation i uppföljningstestet. Resultaten tyder även på att de elever under CMR-betingelsen som fokuserar minst på ovidkommande information presterar bättre.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 19 p.
Keyword [en]
mathematical learning, eye tracking, reasoning, cognitive proficiency
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100999OAI: diva2:795429
Available from: 2015-09-28 Created: 2015-03-16 Last updated: 2015-09-28Bibliographically approved

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Qwillbard, Tony
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