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780 Group Project

780 Group Project

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Published by Devin Biggers
ET 780 Group Project - Maymester 2012
ET 780 Group Project - Maymester 2012

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Published by: Devin Biggers on May 23, 2012
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The Effect of Calculator Use on High Stakes Testing in Math Students
Michelle New, Jennifer Guest, Devin Biggers, and Sylvia HodgeUniversity of South Carolina AikenEDET 780 Group Research Project
 
THE EFFECT OF CALCULATOR USE ON HIGH STAKES TESTING 2
 
Abstract
This study will assess the effectiveness of 10th grade students using calculators inconjunction with a high stakes test, specifically the South Carolina High School Exit Exam,HSAP (High School Assessment Program). According to Hembree and Dessart, calculators can prove beneficial to overall problem solving when used in correlation with mathematicsinstruction. Similarly, Clark and Dion charge that prior to integration, both teachers and studentsshould become trained in calculator technology. The presence and absence of various calculators(scientific and graphing) are analyzed within this study. We hope to see a correlation betweencalculator use and student scores. An extended question is to be answered as well: Does lack of familiarity with a specific calculator negate its ability to enhance student performance?Conclusions may be used to direct future classroom instruction and make appropriateaccommodations to state assessments.
 
THE EFFECT OF CALCULATOR USE ON HIGH STAKES TESTING 3
 
Introduction
The fact that students tend to have higher failure rates in mathematics than in other academic disciplines, provides the impetus for research into methods to improve skills inmathematics calculations as well as confidence in the study of mathematics. While extensiveresearch is available concerning methods of improvement, including the utilization of graphingcalculators in higher level mathematics, further research is warranted. Since the 1980s, with the publication of 
 A Nation at Risk,
continuing through the era of 
 No Child Left Behind 
, and stilltoday, standardized testing in the area of mathematics, is a high-stakes reality in Americanschools. As a result of testing such as the PASS and the HSAP in South Carolina, as well as thelooming Common Core testing that will be national in scope, the need for improvements inmathematical skills and abilities of American students has never been more pronounced. Manytechnological tools exist for assistance with computational skills, but none is more affordable andaccessible than the graphing calculator.
Literature Review
The notion that K-12 and university students struggle with mathematics has long beenunderstood. The fact that students tend to have higher failure rates in mathematics than in other disciplines explains the need for research into ways of helping students be more successful inupper level mathematics. Significant research has been conducted concerning the usefulness of graphing calculators in mathematics education throughout the past three decades. The possibilitythat a simple tool such as a graphing calculator might improve understanding and successfulcomputation on the part of the students provides the reasoning behind the need for research inthis area.

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