Problem-solving and mathematical processing

Year: 1997

Author: Arnold, Lynette

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

My research focuses on an interactive multimedia (IMM) program's effect on children's development and understanding of spatial skills - namely rotation, symmetry and visual perception; and compares the effects of IMM and traditional media on the student's problem-solving and processing skills.

Method - 54 Year 7 girls were divided into four groups - 1. IMM with teacher interaction; 2. IMM without teacher interaction; 3. traditional media with teacher interaction; and 4. traditional media without teacher interaction. All students undertook a pre-test, preliminary activities, tower building task, series of rotational tasks, post-test and a questionnaire. Selected students were interviewed to ascertain their impressions of the media and their performance.

Initial results showed no significant difference in student's problem solving performance, however significant differences in the patterns of student processing and problem solving were found between groups. A significant difference is also evident in the types of interaction students participated in. In my thesis I explore the issues of technological and conceptual interactivity and my results highlight the need for multimedia developers to attend to both aspects of interactivity when designing educational products. The results also have implications for teachers and the implementation of such products within a learning environment.