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Influence of computer-generated visuals on word-problem solving
Word problems
Computer-assisted instruction
Elementary school students
Mathematics instruction
Problem solving
Issue Date: 
Singapore Journal of Education, 13(1), 76-87
This study investigated the effects of different visual strategies in the solving of word problems in computer-based lessons. There were three visual treatments, namely, visual-supplied, self-generated, and no-visual. Together with this, students were given two option-control treatments of programme-control where subjects solved ten problems, and learner-control where subjects solved six problems and were then allowed to choose up to ten additional problems.
Primary four students (n = 138) from two schools were randomly assigned to treatments in a (3 x 2) factorial design. To complete the experimental task, subjects worked individually at the computer for three sessions, each lasting approximately forty-five minutes. During the lessons, subjects were shown examples and prototype solutions, and solved word problems. A delayed post-test was administered a week later. Using on-task scores as the dependent variable, no visual treatment effect was detected. The self-generated group's post-test mean scores were significantly higher than those of the other two visual groups. Subjects in the learner-control group attempted five more problems than subjects in the programme-control group but the post-test scores were lower in the learner-control group. Results from this study suggest that requiring students to generate their own visuals is an effective strategy for solving word problems. Although students in the learner-control group attempted additional problems, their additional exposure did not result in higher post-test
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles - Singapore Journal of Education

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