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# 2009

Social Science

135

Science Section

Content Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics

This paper describes the use of specific technological tools that assist students in the development of their mathematical skills Robert Thomson, Arelli Santaella, Mark W. Boulat

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Department’s Reviewers

Chair of Mathematics - Prof. Mark W. Boulat Deputy Head of Department – Earth and Biology - Prof. Alexandra Moffett Chair of Earth and Environment Science - Prof. Sergio Falrow Chair of Biology and Life Science - Prof. Melissa Brant Chair of Physics and Astronomy - Prof. Timothy Olson Chair of Chemistry - Prof. Randolf Laman

School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal - July, 2009 No. 1

136

School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal

July

**Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics
**

Robert Thomson (MSc)

Master of Science and candidate to PhD in Mathematics at the School of Doctoral Studies, Isles Internationale Université (European Union)

**Arelli Santaella (PhD)
**

Chair of Education and Communication Studies of the Department of Social Science at the School of Doctoral Studies, Isles Internationale Université (European Union)

**Mark W. Boulat (PhD)
**

Chair of Mathematics of the Department of Science at the School of Doctoral Studies, Isles Internationale Université (European Union)

Abstract

This paper describes the use of specific technological tools that assist students in the development of their mathematical skills There has been a significant increase in the utilization of technology in the areas of science and mathematics. As students go to college and move into the workforce math skills and technological skills become important components in ensuring job security. Computer algebra systems (CAS) are programs designed for the symbolic manipulation of mathematical objects such as polynomials, integrals, and equations. Typical actions are simplification or expansion of expressions and solving of differential or algebraic equations. Most CAS permit the user to write programs for complex tasks and all features of high-level programming languages are available.The proper use of CAS has been associated with increases in the amount of information that students retain as it relates to mathematics. Computer Algebra Systems play an important role in mathematics particularly as it relates to students and their perceptions about learning Algebra through CAS. Student attitudes toward CAS technology seem to be reflected in the level of mastery associated with certain mathematical concepts and the proper teaching as it relates to the utilization of CAS. As it relates to the current study it was clear from the consideration of previous studies, Saunders (2003) and our work to date that there are a variety of responses to the Maple sessions and CAS as a whole. It is also apparent that different students can have quite different attitudes towards the same activity. As it relates specifically to the maple activities the results indicate however that most students found some benefit in the Maple activities with regard to their mathematical understanding and the visualisation capabilities seemed to once again be significantly useful. Students are generally positive about the motivational impact of the Maple sessions. Many students develop a reasonable level of competence with the basic commands and students are often able to present a correct Maple solution. Key words: Education, Mathematics, Technology, Science Teaching

School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal - July, 2009 No. 1

2009

Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics

137

Executive Summary

Math and the use of technology often go hand in hand. In this day and age there is an increased need for the development of technological tools that assist students in the development of their mathematical skills. As a result of the pressures facing American educators as it relates to mathematics scores, there is a great deal of evidence that suggest that technology may be a critical component in the improvement of these scores. The research contained in this report addresses the use of CAS in the mathematics classroom. It also addresses the attitudes shared by teachers and students alike as it relates to the use of CAS technology. There are several reasons for the attitudes that are expressed by users of this technology. The research found that students that have superb mathematical skills may actually experience a greater level of security with the usage of CAS. The research also indicates that some teachers have negative attitudes towards the use of CAS. It is clear that some of this negativity exists because teachers have not been properly equipped as it relates to the utilization of technology and CAS in particular. The research related to the utilization of Maple found that there are variations in student experience but most students find the program beneficial. The research also indicates that there is a great deal of optimism concerning the future utilization of Maple and other CAS programs. Overall the research indicates that there must be concessions made for the development and implementation of new CAS programs and that students and teacher have to receive training related to the development and implementation of these programs.

solving of differential or algebraic equations. Most CAS permit the user to write programs for complex tasks and all features of high-level programming languages are available. In addition CAS have numerical systems for visualization (2D-, 3D-plots, animations) and numerical computations (numerical equation solving, numerical integration). In addition to being a tool for the manipulation of formulae CAS should be expert systems that contain information concerning all the mathematics contained in quality mathematical handbooks. There are a lot of commercial and non-commercial products. The most popular systems are Mathematica and Maple. Other systems are Derive, MuPAD. Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) are widely available in tertiary mathematics departments as desk-top software. At RMIT, the mathematics and statistics department has a site licence for the CAS Maple, which is used in some research activities and is becoming increasingly vital for teaching. CAS also provides new assessment tools for automatically marking online assessments using software (e.g. AIM-tth). The introduction of Computer-AssistedAssessment (CAA) demands a substantial investment of both time and resources. Before any commitment to introduce CAA is made, there is a need to explore all possibilities.

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to take a systematic approach to the design and evaluation of the teaching, learning and assessing mathematics courses using the CAS Maple. Of particular interest are first year service mathematics courses at RMIT University. The effectiveness of different ways of incorporating Maple activities into such courses will also be examined. The investigation will be conducted as a research and development activity through which Maple activities are designed and evaluated in a feedback cycle and we follow an Action Research methodology. Initially, examples from the literature and relevant theories concerning mathematical understanding were sought in order

**Introduction and statement of the research questions
**

Computer algebra systems (CAS) are programs designed for the symbolic manipulation of mathematical objects such as polynomials, integrals, and equations. Typical actions are simplification or expansion of expressions and

R. Thomson, A. Santaella, M. W. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics

connection to other people who provide information. 2009 No. National Research Council USA NRC report. Marton (1998) discuss the strength of the latest research about learning mathematics and the impact of technology in the learning and teaching mathematics at all levels. The purpose of this literature review is to expound upon the concepts that were learned as a result of the aforementioned studies. We are able to access wide sources of information: digital libraries. feedback and inspiration. Some use will be made of video will also be utilized to record and analyse methodology to evaluate the teaching and learning of mathematics using Maple in a computer lab. and more productive student activity and creativity. Student’s responses to the first cycle of activities in 2003 were obtained. There is also great deal about controversy about using technology as it relates to teaching and learning mathematics. Bowden. For instance. real-world data. Technology introduces many opportunities for visualisation.138 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July to inform the development of new resources. Let us begin this literature review by describing how people learn mathematics and the role of technology in this learning process. highlights positive features particularly of interactive technologies for learning in general (Bransford. receiving feedback. teaching and using technology in mathematics reveals that Literature Review There have been many studies concerning of the teaching and learning (procedural and conceptual) when technology is used to support the teaching of mathematics. Past Research Questions The particular research questions of interest are: • How should the work covered in Maple classes relate to the rest of the mathematics course? • Which particular types of Maple activities are most effective in helping develop students mathematical understanding? • Which particular type of Maple activities do students find most rewarding? • How can Maple activities be assessed appropriately and efficiently (using CAA)? Research concerning learning. responses to specially designed test instruments. How People Learn Mathematics and the Role of technology How People Learn Mathematics Smith (2002) of Duke University presents a summary of many papers and PhD theses.July. The research methods utilized are observations of classes. New Technologies are interactive: learning by doing. One of the highlights of the research is that technology used inappropriately makes no significant difference in learning. analysis of student’s work. learning mathematics is. This process will continue over the course of six semesters. This review reveals what others have discovered about learning mathematics. use of feedback questionnaires and structured interviews. However. critical and teachers play a key role in influencing outcome of learning with new technology (Bransford. Cocking (1999). Simply using calculators and computers doesn’t bring forth a change in the learning experience. Brown. refine understanding and building knowledge. all of which can enhance the learning of teachers as well as students. Brown. The conclusions drawn are informing the development of resources for the next cycle. School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . 1 . The utilization of technology can create a friendly teaching-learning environment. Intelligent synthesis of computer technology and mathematics into the curriculum integrated with new teaching methods and laboratory courses lead to new effective ways of learning and teaching mathematics. Cocking 1999).

each of which promotes a different kind of technology assisted learning (Galbraith 2002). The aforementioned three uses of technology in teacher education can promote to better teacher effectiveness and improved student learning. W. Research took place at the University of Queensland between 1997 and 2000 and programs involved the use of Maple in first year undergraduate teaching. Kent and Stevenson (1999) examine to what extend must the structure of mathematics be understood so that mathematical procedure can be learned effectively. There is evidence that using CAS for conceptual exploration and for learning leads to gains in solving problems that can transfer to later courses. Templer (1998). and to some degree. The other approach to teacher preparation prepares pre-service teachers to encourage their future students to utilize technology to research and solve problems (Lederman and Niess 2000). and technology as an extension of self.” Indeed the incorporation of technology into the classroom can be seen in a number of ways. There is little evidence one technology is better than another--what matters is how a technology used). In addition. These uses for technology can be categorized as it relates to the controller or the primary user of the technology (Lederman and Niess 2000). Santaella. In addition. students can experience various difficulties in using technological tools.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 139 technology incorporated intelligently with curriculum and pedagogy produces learning gains. The principle asserts that: “Technology is essential in teaching and learning mathematics. The Role of Technology According to Lederman and Niess (2000) it is essential that the appropriate use of technology is an important component in the preparation of mathematics teachers (Lederman and Niess 2000). On the other hand the authors report that “it has been our experience that the most effective way to use technology to bring about enhanced student learning of mathematics is to prepare preservice teachers to incorporate into their teaching an array of activities that engage students in mathematical thinking facilitated by technological tools. Hence. it influences the mathematics that is taught and enhances students’ learning (Lederman and Niess 2000). A. Thomson. in which the teacher is the primary user (Lederman and Niess 2000). One study Ramsden (1997). the second use. Selected material from three research projects is used to answer this question. Technology enables some types of learning activities (discovery learning. technology as partner. Results suggest that teaching demands are increased by the use of technology. Attitudes towards mathematics and computers occupy different dimensions and students adopt different preferences about how to use technology in learning mathematics. Students may view the utilized tool in several ways: technology as master. technology as servant. many teacher preparation courses train the teacher as the primary user (Lederman and Niess 2000). The authors explain that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has deemed the “Technology Principle” as one of six principles associated with high quality mathematics education. in which ultimately the student is the primary user. we emphasize the third use. M. For instance some the ways that technology is utilized forces the teacher to become the primary user (Lederman and Niess 2000). They focused on range of student’s questions and student’s performance. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . Galbraith (2002) also discusses some of the unanswered questions raised with respect to the use of technology in undergraduate mathematics teaching and learning. investigates impact of using powerful software packages in teaching and learning against traditional lectures and text books. In traditional course students tend to use procedural solutions that do not easily transfer to new situations.” R. in our preparation of secondary preservice teachers. cooperative learning) that is hard to achieve without technologies. The third study. is about links between computer controlled processes and mathematical understanding.

it allows them to write programs. 2009 No. Additionally. conceptual development. and lead to unnatural activities (Lederman and Niess 2000). The authors explain that such an introduction is necessary because teaching technology based skills first and then attempting to find topics related to math for which the technology skills may be useful is akin to teaching a set of procedural mathematical skills and then presenting a group of “word problems” to solve utilizing the procedures (Lederman and Niess 2000). The authors assert that technology allows users to investigate topics with more intensity (Lederman and Niess 2000). and strategies. as identified by the NCTM (Lederman and Niess 2000). This means that the activities should go beyond what can be done in the absence of the technology (Lederman and Niess 2000). concepts. In addition it should not be used in ways that can detour from the underlying mathematics by adding showy illustration into a Power Point slideshow that the mathematics becomes unimportant (Lederman and Niess 2000). and data collection using probes (Lederman and Niess 2000). should be focused upon and should replicate the nature and character of mathematics (Lederman and Niess 2000). this approach has the capacity to obscure the reason for learning and utilizing technology. but also for the purpose of improvng mathematics teaching and learning through technology (Lederman and Niess 2000).140 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July The aforementioned emphases should take place using the following five guidelines.this particular guideline encompasses content-based activities the utilize technology and asserts meaningful mathematics procedures. Utilizing technology to teach similar mathematical topics in essentially the same manner that could be realized without technology. and develop several proofs and solutions and to do so in more interactive ways through such components as simulations. It can also make mathematics make materialize as nothing more than an addendum. For instance. Connect Mathematics Topics.July. This means that student should be able to insert rote formulas into a spreadsheet to demonstrate such things as population growth (Lederman and Niess 2000). Use Technology to your advantage . Concentrate on meaningful Mathematics with Appropriate Pedagogy. Activities must also maintain sound mathematical goals as it relates to curriculum and must not be created simply because technology makes them achievable (Lederman and Niess 2000). these themes include such concepts as recursion and regression. and problem solving. 3. 1. interpretation. As such the mathematical content and pedagogy should not be compromised for the sake of the technology (Lederman and Niess 2000). interconnect mathematics topics. 2. the utilization of technology in mathematics teaching must encourage and facilitate examination. fails to strengthen students’ learning of mathematics and undermines the value of technology (Lederman and Niess 2000). As such. Introduce Technology in Context – this guideline asserts that technology features whether they be mathematics specific are general need to be introduced and demonstrated within the context of content-based activities (Lederman and Niess 2000). this is done through the removal of computational constraints (Lederman and Niess 2000). 4.this guideline asserts that activities should utilize technology to an advantage (Lederman and Niess 2000). Certainly. In addition technology should not be utilised to carry out procedures without the proper mathematical and technological comprehension (Lederman and Niess 2000). With this being understood the utilization of technology in mathematics teaching is not designed only for the purpose of teaching about technology. 1 . A great deal of school mathematics concepts can be utilized to model and resolve circumstances that come about as a result of School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal .the authors assert that technology-augmented activities must smooth the progress of mathematical connections in two ways: (a) the interconnection of mathematics concepts and (b) connecting mathematics to relatable events (Lederman and Niess 2000). technology makes available the study of mathematics themes that were formerly impossible.

Research has indeed suggested that the Conclusion As it relates to learning mathematics and the role of technology there are several conclusions that can be drawn. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . For instance. A. W. In addition mathematics students perceived technology as more helpful than did students in science classes. M. Finally research has suggested that teacher and student perceptions of amount of use differed with teachers reporting greater use than students (Gravely et al 2006). Review of studies related to the use of technology in the mathematics classroom Gravely et al (2006) confirms that the utilization of technology in mathematics and science has increased drastically in recent years. Now that we have an increased understanding of how people learn mathematics let us focus on a study that focuses on the use of technology as it relates to mathematics. countless mathematics concepts can be associated with the arts and humanities. The challenge is present for students as well as educators. The first of which is that the learning of mathematics in any environment can be a challenge.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 141 biological. This is particularly true of complex mathematical concepts. some investigations have reported that technology is used often in the classroom setting while other investigations have found that technology is only utilized occasionally (Gravely et al 2006). It is also apparent that people learn mathematics differently and therefore there may be a need for differing approaches as it relates to the teaching of mathematics. However. Thus the proper use of technology can be helpful in assisting students to make the aforementioned connections. social. Santaella. The act encourages mathematics and science teachers to assist children in greater achievement in these subjects (Gravely et al 2006). physical. This particular R. its usefulness can only be realized when technology has been implemented appropriately. The authors further insist that the increased amount of utilization of technology is due in part to the The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(Gravely et al 2006). The authors also note that there are variations in the use of these technologies and student perceptions concerning these technologies and there helpfulness across a variety of subjects (Gravely et al 2006). integration has taken place in most subject areas and researchers have found that it is particularly useful as it relates to the teaching of mathematics. Thomson. verbal. In addition females perceived technology as more helpful than did males (Gravely et al 2006). numerically. and by making it simpler for teachers and students to connect numerous representations of mathematics concepts (Lederman and Niess 2000). 5. Incorporate Multiple Representationsthe final guideline asserts that classroom activities must be inclusive of various representations of mathematical concepts. This is accomplished through the connecting of tabulated data to graphs and curves of best fit. and geometrically (Lederman and Niess 2000). Research has suggested that a large percentage of students have problems connecting the graphical. and producing sequences and series algebraically. One of the ways in which such improvements may occur is through the use of technology in these subjects. As a result of greater accessibility to technology educators have begun to incorporate technological programs into the learning environment. Additionally. The proper utilization of technology can encourage such applications by providing immediate entrée to real data and information. It has been suggested that technology is often used as a way of communicating and middle school students perceived technology as less helpful than did elementary or high school students (Gravely et al 2006). and managerial sciences (Lederman and Niess 2000). numerical and algebraic representations of mathematical functions. by ensuring that the insertion of mathematics concepts are useful for making applications more practical. The research also makes it clear the use of technology in the classroom has increased drastically in recent years. environmental.

Weaver (2000) also discovered that the use of computers was associated with greater student achievement. Driscoll (2002) has also suggested the following framework which contains four ways in that technology could be utilized in classrooms to assist learning. apply. and Klemes (2000) reported that the incorporation of interactive multimedia improved girls’ perceptions toward science and encouraged development in social and thinking skills as soon as second grade(Gravely et al 2006). the amount of use is limited by availability of technology. 2. brainstorming. this achievement was seen in both male and female students. Eshet. The author contends that it is time to reconsider the mathematics syllabus in the light of the potential of technological tools available in mathematics learning The author explains that the very existence of CAS creates questions related the role of algebraic manipulations including solving equations. Learning transpires in context. 3. including (a) shortage of technology. Bussi et al (2002) assert that for many institutions of learning instructors must consider the manner in which mathematics is taught. Kleiner and Lewis (2003) reported that there is one instructional computer with Internet access for about every five students in the U. Although. which encompasses ways that technology can encourage learning by providing practical contexts that cause learners to be involved in solving multifaceted problems and computer simulations that present contexts for learners to comprehend complex phenomena (Gravely et al 2006). 2009 No. The first is one as an introduction to verbal environments and the second as a way to evaluate the dynamics of learning for anecdotal. (b) logistical problems.” Manoucherhri (1999) conducted a survey of high school and middle school math teachers and reported that computers in mathematics classes are most frequently being used only for drill and practice. (2000) found several barriers to the use of information and computer technologies. There is an implication that teachers do not have the chance to develop skills in how to use technology more efficiently and as a result additional education is needed for teachers (Gravely et al 2006). and expand what they comprehend about mathematics and science (Gravely et al 2006). (c) the changing roles of teachers. 1 . Learning is an activity. In terms of availability. The authors also explain that “Although technology is being used in classrooms. In addition Winn (2003) asserts that technology in education plays two roles. there are as follows: 1. and as such it requires the use of concept mapping. he also asserted that instructors need to have successful encounters with the use of technology in order to use it efficiently (Gravely et al 2006). These questions include the following • To what degree do math students have to reach mastery in solving linear or quadratic equations when they have access to tools that solve multifaceted equations which are School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . Henderson.S. In their study of technology use in different countries Knezek et al. Alagic (2003) also asserts that computers can be utilised to present multiple representations in mathematics. and the lack of experience of teachers in using technology effectively.July. and prescriptive purposes (Gravely et al 2006).142 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July use of technology in mathematics is one of the six principles of high quality math (Gravely et al 2006). Learning is also a social experience that is inclusive of software that can handle a networked multimedia environment in the classroom (Gravely et al 2006). In addition in their qualitative study. evocative. and (e) accountability in terms of the type of learning that is tested (Gravely et al 2006). 4. (d) time. curricular materials designed to optimize use. and is inclusive of technologies that encourage communication inside and outside the learning environment (Gravely et al 2006). In addition Quellmalz (1999) asserted that computers can be utilized by students to obtain. and/or visualization software (Gravely et al 2006). Learning is also reflective.

and additional instructional materials (Ball 2003). However for these changes to be effective teachers and creators of instructional materials must have access to research-based information related to various models for algebra teaching at different levels and the effect of such models on student learning different aspects of algebra (Ball 2003). The article explains that college professors are ussualy somewhat reluntanct to use technology. W. M. For instance. learning. 2005). technology. such research could find ways in which teachers work including the manner in which they utilize certain opportunities to learn. In addition a great deal of previous research concerning algebra has placed greater emphasis on student learning issues as opposed to algebra teaching issues. 2005). In addition. even though elementary teachers’ utilization of texts has been researched in various studies. 2005). A.” To combat this issue many universities have developed skills workshops (Marx. The implementation of such technology is R. less is known about how algebra teachers utilize textbooks. Additionally. and how they use instructional materials. However. Thomson. “The research community knows very little about how algebra teachers teach algebra and what their conceptions are of their own students’ learning. these workshops featured information on the benefits of using technology in education (Marx. and working to integrate technology takes time away from these activities. research has asserted that both graphing calculators and computer algebra systems are capable tools for encouraging certain types of comprehension as it relates to algebra. including the comprehension of algebraic functions (Ball 2003).2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 143 inclusive of linear and the quadratic equations (Bussi et al 2002)? • What kind of mathematical knowledge and insight can students gain when utilizing such a tool (Bussi et al 2002)? Indeed Ball (2003) points out that different instructional uses of technology have effects on the cultivation of algebraic concepts and algebraic skills (Ball 2003). faculty often become discouraged because they do not receive credit for their work in adding significant technology components to their courses (Marx. In addition this reluctance is present because “university faculty already have teaching. Also empirical investigation and evidence are critical for practitioners who desire to have stronger evidence for making solid instructional determinations (Ball 2003). It seems that such technologies are necessary because of the type of competition that American colleges are confronting when compared to universities in other regions of the world. as they plan and teach lessons (Ball 2003). Indeed “the changing algebra education landscape demands that we direct collective research energies toward solving some of the most pressing problems that are emerging as a result of these change. For instance. Santaella. and instructional materials should be at the forefront of efforts to improve outcomes for all students in learning algebra in the nation’s K–12 classrooms (Ball 2003). this is the type of knowledge that is significant as it relates to any large-scale improvement of algebra learning for American students in that it would inform the design and implementation of instructional programs (Ball 2003). Also. many colleges have to first train faculty on the proper use of computers. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . This is evident with Kieran (1992) who asserts that.” The author explains that there are many changes occurring throughout the nation as it relates to algebra (Ball 2003). These workshops gave professors training related to the use of technology in mathematics also with other subjects. Research into algebra teaching. There have also been some grants given to colleges to encourage the use of technology in the classroom.” According to Marx (2005) the use of technology in the college classroom may be beneficial to students. The author contends that these questions are present at all levels of school mathematics. tools. However. research and publishing requirements. They often view having students use technology in a meaningful way as a serious challenge. In addition there are also significant questions concerning the role of paper-and-pencil computation in creating comprehension in mathematics in addition to skill (Ball 2003).

July. It seems as though many teachers are not adequately trained on the appropriate use of technology in mathematics.” On the other hand most educators concede that CAS is beneficial for most students because it allows that to integrate trigonometric. Some systems are also available on hand held calculators such as TI-92 plus and theTI-89 (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Overall it seems that a great deals of technology that is currently being utilized needs to incorporate a better strategy for use in the mathematics classroom. there was greater facility associated with visualization and graphical understanding. The research also focused on the perceptions of teachers. exponential and simple polynomial functions mentally (Kahn School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . The research indicates that for some students particularly at the middle school level. It 2. Hurley et al. There are various versions of CAS which include Mathematica. Conclusion It is apparent form this research that schools are attempting to use technology in mathematics classrooms. there is still a great deal of information that is unknown about CAS and its utilization (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Maple. is clear however that the utilization of calculator technology in the academic environment is often associated with lower test scores and this association has led to a great deal of negativity concerning CAS (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Although there is negativity associated with CAS there have been studies that report that students gain a better conceptual understanding of mathematics with no significant loss in computational skills (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Computer Algebra Systems are no exception to this rule as they have the capacity to perform numerical manipulations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Over the last 20 years a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the use of CAS in the realms of learning and teaching.1 Learning and teaching concerns with a CAS and the suitable to use a CAS The authors assert that many teachers have suggested that CAS has the capacity to undervalue some areas of mathematics that are routine in nature and necessitate a great deal of algebraic manipulation. While others fear that using technology with mathematics does not ensure that students will learn the concepts that are presented. Some educators argue that “If the object were solely to obtain an analytical solution. 1 . However. Macsyma and DERIVE (Kahn & Kyle 2002).3 Utilizing Computer Algebra Systems There are many different settings that utilize CAS. and a capacity to solve a wider array of problems. However it is also apparent that many schools have fallen short of meeting goals that would ensure that the use of technology is beneficial to students. then the skills developed by performing such mental manipulations would appear to be virtually redundant if a CAS were available (Kahn & Kyle 2002). An additional 40% reported that students in classroom settings with technology had done at least as well as those in conventional classroom settings (Kahn & Kyle 2002). without any loss of computational skills (Kahn & Kyle 2002). In addition.3. The authors point out that this complex manipulation can be seen in both mathematics and engineering students that have to learn methods of integration such as the use of partial fractions without utilizing CAS (Kahn & Kyle 2002).144 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July vitally important to ensure that students are ready to join the workforce. In one such study. 2009 No. 2. teaching and evaluating mathematics in higher education institutions throughout the world. there may be very little benefit associated with using mathematics technology. According to Kahn & Kyle (2002) the increased power of computers and increased accessibility to computers has created a significant demand for their use in the process of learning. (1999) refer to a National Science Foundation report that found that an estimated 50% of the educational institutions carrying out studies on the impact of technology saw increases in conceptual understanding (Kahn & Kyle 2002).

The instructor has an important role to play in developing this understanding (Kahn & Kyle 2002). the use of a CAS must be permitted and supported (as a black box) (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This educational principle may present a motivation for the utilization of effective CAS ( Kahn & Kyle 2002). They need to understand how to use all of the tools of technology effectively.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 145 & Kyle 2002). thermos and basic concepts need to be taught by hand (ie mental calculations) and CAS or the white box approach should be used sparingly (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This means that students must know how to differentiate symbolically which differs from knowing what a derivative means (Kahn & Kyle 2002). On the other hand. It is important because these methods should be understood by students. In addition. In theory. Such a principle asserts that when students are learning a new subject area things such as proofs. A. W. Thomson. A collection of white boxes could be detrimental as it appears that a balance is needed to ensure that the appropriate concepts are actually learned (Kahn & Kyle 2002). it would seem that the principle is simple to practice within a single class or subject area. In addition some educators concede that in light of the creation of CAS there is less of a need to spend instruction time on the intricate points of technical manipulation but educators should focus on the improvement of problemsolving skills and a conceptual knowledge of mathematics (Kahn & Kyle 2002). developing an analytical solution to a differential equation might be of restricted use if the student does not have the capacity to visualize and interpret the solution (Kahn & Kyle 2002). In addition to these instruction concerns student must also be taught how to carry out algebraic procedures and still be taught conceptual understanding. manipulations should not be limited to those things that students can do by hand or in their head. drill exercises and the importance of memory cannot completely be ignored (Kahn & Kyle 2002). It has been asserted that this type of approach does not depend on CAS but instead it uses CAS R. The point is a good one. but hard to organize across a program that is inclusive of a variety subject areas and many instructors with different teaching styles and strategies (Kahn & Kyle 2002). They assert that previous research conducted by Buchberger (1989) suggested a ‘white box/ black box’ principle for instructing (Kahn & Kyle 2002). It is important to exercise our minds. M. Wu (1998) asserts that within mathematics education in general and the Calculus Reform movement in particular. This principle also asserts that when mental calculations become custom and applications become significantly more difficult. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . “Kutzler (2000) has discussed the topic of ‘What mathematical skills are necessary in the age of the CAS?’ He equates the necessity to do some mental calculations with the necessity of the body to exercise in order to maintain muscle tone and general health. Students are then given the opportunity to use CAS to carryout these tasks.” Once a school system decides to use CAS they must embrace an approach to teaching using such a system (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Indeed some educators believe that computers can be utilized to perform the processes that enable the user to concentrate on the product (Kahn & Kyle 2002). The authors contend that there has been a great deal of debate concerning this very issue. The authors assert that the most common approach to CAS is computer lab sessions (Kahn & Kyle 2002). It In fact form nay students doing mathematics has been reduced simply completing procedures with very little ability to reason and programmes tend to be simply a collection of white boxes (Kahn & Kyle 2002). In other words the contents of the ‘white box’ must be understood before ‘black box’ stage is permitted to take over (Kahn & Kyle 2002). However the question often arises concerning the appropriateness of moving form mental calculations to using a computerized tool like CAS (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Santaella. Throughout such sessions students are presented with exploratory tasks to complete and support lecture material and the exercises that are performed mentally (Kahn & Kyle 2002).

well-defined applications be unable to pass courses that utilize CAS (Kahn & Kyle 2002)? If these things are factual the case then mathematics may become an elitist subject and may be overlooked by other disciplines (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Overall many educators believe that students must be convinced of the significance of the use of CAS and given a choice will often prefer to solve a problem by hand if possible (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This is true regardless of the calculations being numerical or algebraic (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Some educators assert that this is a fundamental skill that will be abandoned in the use of CAS( Kahn & Kyle 2002). This is because learning how to utilize a CAS’ module is of little use if students do not use a CAS elsewhere in their programme even when it is appropriate to do so (Kahn & Kyle 2002). it seems that with the advent of mathematics tools that utlize modern technology there is a great deal of protest (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Is it a fact that mathematics course work and examinations will only be manageable by students who are skillful problem solvers (Kahn & Kyle 2002)? 2. The examples given indicate that it is possible to construct examinations that require School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . However. the ‘doing of calculations’ is only one aspect of the mathematics equation. On the other hand students will be able to find derivatives and do the task well (Kahn & Kyle 2002). instead of working around the fringes by engaging in complicated manipulations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). However the research contends that such a fear is unrelated to the question of utilizing a CAS(Kahn & Kyle 2002). Students throughout the world are taught through this approach (Kahn & Kyle 2002). However. 1 . In addition. The authors also contend that the protest associated with the use of a CAS lies primarily in the fact that the capacity to carry out complex manipulations has been labelled as actually ‘doing mathematics’(Kahn & Kyle 2002). Assessment is not necessarily a key component in teaching but it does drive students’ learning and a CAS will become extremely useful if students believe it presents them with an advantage in assessed work (Kahn & Kyle 2002). As it relates to the optimization exercises. 2009 No. As the use of CAS is suggested for manipulative work the following questions must be addressed 1. Will only the students who have manipulative skills or the ability to do straightforward. However if the CAS is used properly not only are students engaged in mathematical thinking. In addition. In either case it is clear the simply ‘doing mathematics’ concerns reasoning and problem solving (Kahn & Kyle 2002).July. the CAS performed all of the tasks associated with finding derivatives (Kahn & Kyle 2002). The authors assert that the CAS is nothing more that a mathematical tool and tools have been developed since the inception of mathematics in the classroom (Kahn & Kyle 2002). there are students will not be good at finding derivatives. The article further states that the affect of a CAS will be most significant if it is permitted in formal examinations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). not just as it pertains to Mathematics degree programs but also as it relates to service teaching in programs such as engineering where mathematics is utilized (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This is known as a constructivist approach as opposed to an instructivist approach to teaching and learning. In addition many students require a consistent approach to CAS use across the entire program of study (Kahn & Kyle 2002). they are engaged in better thinking at a higher level (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Program design should permit an incorporated policy on CAS usage. Another approach that uses CAS in addition to a traditional lecture/tutorial style is believed to be less successful (Kahn & Kyle 2002). they are confronting the essence of problems. This is the reason why the exploratory tasks and questions should necessitate CAS use (Kahn & Kyle 2002).146 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July to enhance the overall learning experience and aids students in developing mathematics skills including problem solving and visualization (Kahn & Kyle 2002).

the CAS generally tells the mathematics student less than (say) the open history book may tell the history student. either positive or negative. However. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . The use of a CAS removes a computational roadblock that can stand between the students and the solution of the problem (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Thomson. The researchers also point out that in most assessments there was not a significant change. and possibly to the instructor. In some cases researchers have found that students who used CAS and were examined found the group C skills to be difficult (Kahn & Kyle 2002). in the number of students who passed the examinations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). The CAS merely does the numerical or symbolic calculation. The authors also explain that learning to do math with CAS is more difficult than most traditional courses in secondary school (Kahn & Kyle 2002). that doing calculations is not the sole purpose for studying a topic. That would be dependent upon student desire and ability in addition to the skills of the teacher (Kahn & Kyle 2002). The authors contend that in some cases when CAS is utilized the goals of the course R. W. Mathematical problem solving is a process that goes far beyond manipulation of symbols. However the researchers do assume that the CAS will alter these factors. Therefore assessing CAS is a necessary step in understanding the overall impact of CAS (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This issue has been debated at length even among those that support CAS. A. The use of a CAS in the mathematics exam is not completely analogous to an open book examination. It merely emphasizes to the student. the interpretation of the result is beyond its capability. The test evaluator needs assess what the students have really learnt during the course as opposed to what they have simply memorized (Kahn & Kyle 2002). this raises a number of as it relates to CAS use. timed examinations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). As a result of this the author explains that “an integrated approach covering learning. though it will not make all students into math experts (Kahn & Kyle 2002). How Students perform when they are given CAS examinations Those that are investigating the use of CAS often want to know if the use of CAS in the classroom actually increases the number of students that pass the module.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 147 the students to use and demonstrate manipulative as well as problem-solving skills (Kahn & Kyle 2002). M. Assessment of CAS Kahn & Kyle (2002) explains that assessing what has been taught is always necessary. In addition. not just to show manipulations and recall formulas (Kahn & Kyle 2002). The interpretation is where the student’s understanding of the topic comes to light. In addition there was not a considerable change in the overall grade distribution. teaching and assessment is needed. In fact. Santaella. This means that if instructors do not stress the importance of CAS throughout the course and also during assessment activities run the risk of the students will revert back to their traditional mode of doing mathematics (Kahn & Kyle 2002). A great deal of the debate centers around the mechanics of implementation and equity of CAS use and although these are important concerns they are secondary details when compared to the primary purpose of assessing appropriate mathematical knowledge and skills examinations. pass rates for such examinations and mean marks were identical to the scores for student in non-CAS classrooms (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Assessing CAS is particularly necessary when the utilization of CAS cultivates the learning outcomes of the course (Kahn & Kyle 2002). especially the use of a CAS in formal.” The authors explain further that the examination questions that are created for a classroom environment in which students are allowed to have access to a CAS should ensure that they recall concepts and ideas. What CAS does present teachers with is the capacity to teach and assess the mathematics which is the ultimate goal (Kahn & Kyle 2002).

148 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July would be lost and the Group C level skills would be ignored or minimized because of a student preoccupation with the manipulative nature of the equations (Kahn & Kyle 2002). This research makes it apparent how meaningful exercises and examinations may be developed for utilization in a CAS laboratory or in circumstances where every student has access to a CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Therefore. instead it prepares students for their futures as consumers of mathematics or professional mathematicians (Kahn & Kyle 2002). that is finite mathematics. Math Horizons (Moylan. they did express disapproval of the part of their undergraduate training that stressed manipulative and hand calculation of numerical and technical algorithms (Kahn & Kyle 2002). the creation of the exam at this level necessitates careful thought concerning the issues of student capacity in addition to the capabilities and role of the CAS in learning the subject and responding to examination questions (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Additionally CAS does not create an artificial environment in the classroom. In addition there is little excuse for not using it as it is available in inexpensive calculators (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). However there is no doubt that the research being conducted is invalid because of a reliance on the computer (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). and differentiation problems (Kahn & Kyle 2002). 1995)?” Those that responded to the survey asserted that the most useful courses were those that consisted of modeling and problem solving. On the contrary it permits teachers set students on the path to both mathematical discovery and problem solving (Kahn & Kyle 2002). Examples of this are inclusive of time spent on technique after technique of symbolic integration. They explained that their employers had software packages that performed these tasks on their computers (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In this survey a two-part question was asked. The authors also assert that mathematics courses at all levels need to be taught with an emphasis on developing the skills highlighted in the MATH Taxonomy level C (Kahn & Kyle 2002).July. This means that teachers of mathematics must incorporate the use of this tool into their teaching. Conversely. CAS will not make teaching redundant or inconsequential (Kahn & Kyle 2002). statistics differential equations. In addition the CAS presents an excellent opportunity to achieve this goal (Kahn & Kyle 2002). 2009 No. The authors further contends that mathematics instruction that does not include the utilization of the CAS risks becoming ineffective (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). but still encompass the major ideas of the class (Kahn & Kyle 2002). instead of trivializing mathematics teaching and learning. A survey of Mathematics graduates working as mathematicians that was published in the magazine. and operational research (Kahn & Kyle 2002). A significant percentage of students who go to graduate school in the sciences or mathematics utilize computer packages as a component of their research work (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). 1995). multiplication and manipulation of large matrices. experience has also indicated that the instructor should be able to write exams that do not have as many questions as on traditional examinations. closed form solutions of differential equations. Such a practice is viewed as a basic system of conducting modern research (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Instead they felt they needed additional time on developing problem solving and analysis skills (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). 1 . As a result of the preliminary time that the student needs to become comfortable with the CAS. even though the respondents did not recognize whole courses as ineffectual. CAS has also been incorporated in some popular industrial and academic mathematics School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . “Which of the courses and skills that you took as an undergraduate Mathematics Major best prepared you for your present career? Which prepared you the least (Moylan. It is also embedded in at least one word processor program known as a Scientific Noteboo k(Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). As a result additional time can be spent on troubles requiring students to build up the level C skills of the MATH Taxonomy (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addition. the authors conceive that is has been enhanced (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).

and presumably more interesting problems. The research also indicates that the availability of new technology has enhanced the learning experience. In addition the utilization of CAS does have many supporters that assert that students get a better conceptual understanding of mathematics with no significant loss in computational skills when using such programs.4 CAS in the Classroom According to Bloom (2002) the message distilled from 24 papers familiar to all other findings from recent studies and research is that the focus on use of CAS has expanded in recent R. The ability to have CAS do the complicated computations. therefore permitting more time to carryout the more important task of mathematical modeling and problem solving (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Thomson. The authors assert that the most frequently used argument for utilizing CAS is that it can eliminate the hard work and difficulty of performing algebraic manipulations. The are also come loaded on hand held calculators such as TI-92 plus and theTI-89. will give students more time to work on more realistic. Because CAS has the ability to perform numerical manipulations it is viewed by many as an ideal tool for the teaching of Algebra.” When utlizing the algebraic capacity of CAS. M. some researchers assert that the tasks associated with teching concepts is simplified (Hornaes & Conclusion As it relates to the utilization of CAS the research is clear concerning the need for CAS in the 21st century.4. For instance. Santaella. problems given to engineering students represent unrealistically simple physical situations. 2. Pedagogy and Epistemology issues with CAS Acording to Hornaes & Royrvik (2000) any new pedagogical tool often faces some resistance by students and teachers. presumably because the algebraic manipulations become a nonproblem (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addition CAS programs came in many different forms including Mathematica. The research also points out that there is a limited amount of research on the topic of CAS because many institutions of learning have just begun to implement these programs on a large scale.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 149 tools including MathCAD and MatLab (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). This review considers issues that CAS raises for learning. In addition in the United States and the United Kingdom there exists engineering schools which are requiring students to understand the use of CAS in completing their course work (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). more complicated. The research indicates that there are various settings that utilize CAS. At this stage the secondary education agencies in a number of countries are actively engaged in the investigation of the inclusion of CAS calculators in the high school curriculum. so that it is possible for students to do the calculations by hand. On one end of the spectrum there seems to be a belief that CAS and calculator in general lead to lower test scores in students that utilize them. Macsyma and DERIVE. most of these argument are pedagogical but also some are practical (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The authors assert that is imperative that students in mathematics courses are comfortable using the tools of the 21st century (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). a danger that teachers may be tempted to expect too much of students when using CAS. so the argument goes. “Traditionally. however. Maple.5 There is. W. the introduction of CAS at the collegiate level is no exception (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Additionally grguments in favor of or against the utilization of CAS are numerous. A. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . the resources it offers. years especially in the tertiary sector while the use in higher-level mathematics subjects is not made as explicit. The key to such use is that the CAS is permitted in all levels of mathematics instruction and evaluation (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). and students’ and teachers’ responses to the inclusion of CAS.

automatic processes tend to take over the users’ input and execute tasks on the entries not considering whether or not the users wish to carry such tasks out or not. Although CAS seems to significantly improve student learning along with the manipulation of algebraic expressions. & Nandakumar 2004). Currently the state of CAS can improve and School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . Both teachers and student have also objected to the use of CAS as an addition to an already weighed down curriculum in mathematics (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). This is because CAS takes time to master this is time that is usually taken away from drilling of elementary skills (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). However the authors also insists that CAS (principally linked to the TI-92 and TI-89 calculators) still have some programming nuances which need to be addressed in the future so that CAS is more conducive to student learning (Bossé. These particular authors argue in favor of increased acceptance of CAS. it is no longer necessary for students to master manipulative skills to learn the concept of integration. technical programs that are commonly utilized in the industries in which the students will be employed. the opposite argument is posited: that a decrease in algebraic skill results in a decreased understanding of mathematical concepts (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). For instance. pedagogy. & Nandakumar 2004). The authors further explain that learning how to use CAS can be time consuming (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). & Nandakumar 2004).150 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July Royrvik 2000). for students the vagueness of precisely what will appear and why remains problematic (Bossé. & Nandakumar 2004). & Nandakumar 2004). & Nandakumar 2004). such a system is also fundamentally burdened with epistemologically unsound computerized functions which can create misunderstandings (Bossé. Bossé & Nandakumar (2004) state further that the current era that we live in allots students access to calculators in addition to computers that are programmed with CAS. & Nandakumar (2004) investigates concerns regarding typing expressions into Texas Instruments TI-92 and TI-89 CAS and suggestions for the future use of CAS and how it can become more epistemologically and pedagogically sound (Bossé. and epistemology in secondary and college algebra. If these issues are not addressed. The research conducted by Bossé. Among those who are sceptical of CAS. In addition. & Nandakumar 2004). are scholarly considerations concerning the role that CAS plays in teaching and learning (Bossé. a large percentage of instructors assert that engineering students in particular should learn to use other. & Nandakumar 2004). they can present a harmful effect on student learning (Bossé. Students that are weaker in mathematics have even greater difficulty accepting that the utilization of CAS can assist them in passing examinations (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Absent from from a majority of these evaluations and curricular developments.July. Nevertheless. Nevertheless. As a result. The authors further explain that it is vitally important that educators utilize methodologies and instructional tools in the classroom that have concret epistemological and pedagogical foundations (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Nevertheless. 1 . Bossé. & Nandakumar (2004) assert that the creation of powerful Computer Algebra Systems have continually affected curricula. more focused. epistemological and pedagogical research related to the role and efficacy of CAS in the learning of algebra is insufficient (Bossé. & Nandakumar 2004). 2009 No. There is also an increase in the curriculum that is being developed to accommodate CAS technology (Bossé. Teachers and the developers of curriculum constantly evaluate mathematical content as it relates to the curriculum which is most suitable for applications of CAS (Bossé. and less time spent on algebra leaves more time to work on concepts which is the most significant aspect of learning (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). As it relates to the issue of programming nuances it has been readily recognized that the ENTER key is responsible for more than loading a function or expression into the CAS memory or display it on the screen of the calculator (Bossé. if instructors want student to realize any benefit CAS should be utilized as a unifying tool in various courses throughout an academic career (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). & Nandakumar 2004).

The individual nature of is illustrate in the following comments. The present authors also conducted previous studies (Pierce and Stacey 2001a. This process is refereed to as instrumental genesis (Pierce & Stacey 2002). M. Effectiveness of CAS in the Classroom and Student Attitudes Towards CAS Pierce & Stacey (2002) posit that in recent years studies concerning tertiary and secondary mathematics classes have supported the idea that the simple presence of CAS in a classroom does not automatically mean that the benefits of such a system will be realized. The study also found that student did not desire to not have pen and paper work and that many student. CAS may currently be inadequately refined for their utilization and learning (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). enjoyed doing routine calculations (Pierce & Stacey 2002). W. Santaella. Lagrange (1996) found that not every student had the desire to use CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002). In addition the students placed a high value on individual effort and undervalue the utilization of technology (Pierce & Stacey 2002). On the other hand. Research has indicated that students’ utilization of CAS was often tempered by their underlying beliefs concerning mathematics and their assessment of what was important (Pierce & Stacey 2002). while I’m finding them difficult. “Student A: Sometimes I use pen and paper and (later) find you can do it on the computer. In addition research has found that a range in the levels of engagement with the technology as it relates to students (Pierce & Stacey 2002). Some researchers have asserted that when students have to learn new mathematics and new technology simultaneously they may be sidetracked by having to learn how to use the new technology (Pierce & Stacey 2002). as a learning tool for student who do not have a solid understanding of the mathematics. This particular learning process presents a new problem for students (Pierce & Stacey 2002). Therefore the success that students experience will be dependent upon their ability to master the use of the technology while simultaneously learning R.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 151 enhance problem-solving and discovery learning situations and the aforementioned misbehavior can also impede learning (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Then I prefer the computer but I don’t start on the computer first or I get confused.” Indeed the significance of CAS can only be determined by the effectiveness of its utilization (Pierce & Stacey 2002).16) Student B: I think it (CAS) actually helps me learn new things because when there are new things that I’m learning. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . The authors further assert that in order to realize the full benefits of CAS student must have the capacity to discriminate in their utilization of this technological tool (Pierce & Stacey 2002). 2001b) involving examples of the individual nature of students and their responses concerning the availability of CAS. A. I can use DERIVE and go through the steps. Using CAS in the classroom necessitates that students have a familiarity with both the hardware and the software that is related to CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002). I pick it up myself and then I can feel confident doing it myself without a package (Pierce & Stacey 2002). In addition. Instrumental genesis is the process by which such available technology becomes a powerful tool. Indeed students have to learn how to use hardware and software efficiently (Pierce & Stacey 2002). Thomson. On the other hand other researchers have asserted that these problems are identical to the issues that students face when performing calculations with paper/ pencil (Pierce & Stacey 2002). With more practice. and seeing DERIVE go through it. It can be asserted that the current use of CAS is an excellent example for students who understand the respective mathematics and use it primarily to speed up their investigations and work(Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). (2001b p. For instance one researcher discovered that students who believed that mathematics was ‘answerbased’ rejected the opportunity for exploration of mathematical ideas presented by CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002).

The data relating to the technical aspect was affected by the actual software used. students differed significantly on each of the divisions (Pierce & Stacey 2002). learning. The Students were expected to reflect on their utilization of CAS during that laboratory session and answer to a succession of statements (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The purpose of the study was to utilize the framework as a foundation for considering if students’ Effective Use of CAS got better during the course and. The authors explain that statements associated with the possible problems had the choice of ‘not applicable’ in addition to a 5-point frequency scale from ‘never’ to ‘every time’(Pierce & Stacey 2002). To this end a study was conducted which examined and monitored students’ use of CAS as it related to both performing and learning mathematics (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The course involved the use of CAS (DERIVE 2. practise using CAS and so their technical ability improves. if there was “differential change amongst the students. The authors explain that there are two divisions in the Effective Use of CAS that include the technical and the personal (Pierce & Stacey 2002). for example.55) for teaching. This program has been superceded by versions with more ‘user friendly’ interfaces and hand-held CAS calculators. In one of the classes.” To carryout this particular study Technical Difficulties and Judicious Use of CAS surveys were given at the end of laboratory classes in weeks 1. 7 and 13 (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The authors report that “On the other hand. we still expect that the range of technical School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . The purpose of this study was to explain what comprises the Effective Use of CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The study aimed to present these components in an organized framework and to reveal the importance of the framework by using it to identify the evolution of the Effective Use of CAS in a group of students in a functions and calculus course (Pierce & Stacey 2002). which students improved in what aspects and why. and assessment tasks (Pierce & Stacey 2002). Surveys. In week 1 additional questions were asked as it related to students’ previous use of technology as it related to mathematics and in week 13 respondents were asked to respond to statements about when they make a decision to utilize CAS and if CAS is helpful (Pierce & Stacey 2002). based on more recent teaching experiences. the study has shown that the personal and technical aspects influence each other over time: students with positive attitudes. a framework has been developed which may provide a guide for monitoring progress in Effective Use of CAS for students(Pierce & Stacey 2002). The Judicious Use statements were offered as a single multiple-response question (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The data also illustrated some independence of the technical and personal and that students with positive attitudes had the capacity to be technically strong or weak (Pierce & Stacey 2002). The effectiveness of their utilization will be dependent upon both technical and personal factors which are inclusive of the following: • Whether the student can maneuver the system with minimal problems (Pierce & Stacey 2002) • The students approach towards the utilization of CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002) • The method and rationale for the use of CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002) As a result of previous research and the authors experience of students’ learning in a CAS environment.152 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July various math skills (Pierce & Stacey 2002).July. 2009 No. 1 . The participants for this study were 21 undergraduate students enrolled in a 15-week (13 weeks teaching) introductory calculus course. but. The purpose of these two divisions has to do with accessible which means that data can be collected on each of these divisions separately (Pierce & Stacey 2002). interviews and observation were used to collect data for class results and detailed case studies (Pierce & Stacey 2002).

The author further explains that in 1992 “SEFI (Societe Europeenne pour la Formation des Ingenieurs) published a report on engineering education in Europe: “A Core Curriculum in Mathematics for the European Engineer”. Maple. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . and these students are replaced in part by students who would not have aimed at an academic career at all in the past (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Santaella. this is a the process Artigue( 2001) reffered to a “instrumental genesis” and still require attention ( Pierce & Stacey 2002). This is because the two components are independent as the study found students with positive attitudes who showed in their Judicious Use of CAS. and with discrimination(Pierce & Stacey 2002). In addiiton within Norway the number of students attending college has increased but there has been a decrease in the number of engineering students (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). at the other end of the spectrum.” Additionally the dividing of the personal aspect into two rudiments has been successful (Pierce & Stacey 2002). During the last 10-20 years. high school students must take advanced classes in science and math (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Although it was not explicitly stated in the report. only has some potential ( Pierce & Stacey 2002). However. In addition. as well as desktop computers. These computer programs were initially used by those lucky few who had access to powerful and expensive computers. Because these options are available to high school students. Overcoming technical difficulties is still a major consideration when teaching with CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002). when utilizing it strategically. has become a hurdle for many students. The grades that are earned in the various subjects count towards entrance into college. The authors explain that in Norway (where the study took place high school students are permitted to choose between advanced or regular options for their subjects (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Most of the engineering students begin the threeyear track and these are usually the students that have less mathematical ability (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Reduce.1 It advocated that educational institutions incorporate computer programs when teaching mathematics to engineering students. Indeed. The authors further assert that the results of this particular study emphasize that a CAS. The process of a user understanding the capacity of the program and making it a sophisticated instrument to utilize. who seem to have loss their proficiency in confronting mathematical challenges (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). CAS has a history spanning several decades (Macsyma. have become R. The authors further explain that in Norway Basic engineering education is a two-track system that consists of a three-year program or a four-anda-half-year program (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). W. and who were prepared to put up with a rather archaic user interface. these programs.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 153 difficulty within a class is potentially wide. many teachers interpret this to mean Computer Algebra Systems (CAS).). While simultaneously there are a variety of jobs availble and as a result a less significant percentage of the good students are going to engineering schools. M. the framework was helpful in illustrating to the teacher/researcher how teaching could be changed to further stress the improvement of Effective Use of CAS ( Pierce & Stacey 2002). a student with a positive attitude frequently used it involuntarily and erratically thus demonstrating low Judicious Use of CAS (Pierce & Stacey 2002). the authors assert that students tend to choose the least demanding options as it relates to mathematics and more advanced options as it relates to topics that are easier to get high grades in (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). However to gain entrance into engineering colleges. Mathematica. Thomson. etc. A. This particular study observed these attitudes as it relates to gender and aptitude. For this particular study the framework was adequately successful in presenting a structure for recording and analyzing important workings of the process to suggests its use in more significant studies (Pierce & Stacey 2002) Hornaes & Royrvik (2000) conducted a study which addressed student attitudes towards CAS. mathematics.

As a result of the robustness of these programs. This database provides researchers with the opportunity to study gender differences as it relates to the manner in which engineering students view the benefits of using CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). there has been a great deal of interest in their use. They assert that the affect of CAS may actually be counterproductive for the majority of students. The author explains that School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . focused on the possibility that CAS could actually encourage weak students and found that the students did in fact improve in the area of mathematics (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). As it relates to student in Norway. 1 . have illustrated that female undergraduate students at MIT stear clear of electrical engineering and computer science more than other courses in engineering (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). CAS is used to meet this requirement. Researcher assert that this difference may be present because those fields are notorious for being mathematics intensive (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). There has been a mixed reaction to these guidelines form both faculty and the colleges in general. In addition the research explains that throughout the last decade. engineering education in particular (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Initially these guidelines were scene as an opportunity to evaluate the impact of utilizing CAS in a large student population and at various institutions of learning (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). placing CAS within reach of practically everyone past (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). there is very little in the literature concerning gender differences and use of CAS within engineering education (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addition other studies such as Shoaf-Grubbs. The remaining 80% do not benefit from the usage of CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). in their research Rogers and Graves found success using CAS in mathematics education for students that had difficulties with math (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). however. On the contrary. the Norwegian government has established guidelines for engineering colleges as it relates to the basic mathematics curriculum (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). For instance Abelson et al. These programs also have graph plotting and text editing capabilities. Many experts contend that CAS is a technical tool that has a pedagogical problem that must be resolved (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). the researcher Child claims to have found that only 20% of mathematics students benefit from using CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).154 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July available at reduced prices and with userfriendly interfaces. 2009 No. This particulat researcher also asserts that for CAS to be a successful teaching tool it must be cultivated to focus on individual learning (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Several studies have shown good educational results through the CAS for these students. there has been a great deal of interest related to the effects of gender among students in sciences and engineerin g(Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). For the most par.July. which makes them excellent tools for use in higher education. For the majority of colleges. other research has suggested that CAS may affect strong and weak students differently(Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addition. The viewpoint of enhancing the learning environment for weak students has been one of the primary arguments concerning the utilization of CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).1Jones and Boers and Sher have evaluated female students who use graphics calculators or CAS and have discovered that these students experience advantage from use of such technologies(Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addiiton. Indeed there are a great deal of engineering students in Norway that do not have the appropriate amount of mathematical competence and are considered to be rather weak students (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). and requires that colleges use computer programs in engineering mathematics classes (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).” The authors confirm that the latest releases of CAS programs such as Maple and Mathematica are complex tools that can perform advanced symbolic and numeric calculations (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). with an increasing number of studies that have found that students learn the subjects more effieciently when they use CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). For isntance Hillel et al. The guidelines are based on the SER report.

The individual then dispursed the questionaires to the students. One solution is to require more frequent use of CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The study also found that good students believed that CAS was simple as it related to both input. The questionnaires were also dispursed to teachers and administrative personnel. we suspect that the situation is not that encouraging. Obtaining any result gives a good feeling. some of the syntax problems that were reported may have been authentic and should be addressed (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). and name of college and the utilization of CAS in the college (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). students find it much easier to understand the results returned by CAS than to formulate the mathematical model in CAS syntax. such as engineering major. Thomson. Indeed the study found a noticible difference between the good and the poor students and the better students reported having fewer problems with the utilization of CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). However. The aim of the research was to study the differences among groups of students (based on aptitude and gender) as it related to their attitudes toward utilization of CAS in the classroom (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). gender. but it is easy to overlook that these results need to be interpreted in two ways. To answer these questions researchers mailed questionnaires to one individual at each college. and output syntax. The researchers received a total of 1779 answers from students. For this reason this study focuses on how students’ aptitude and gender relate to their attitudes towards the utilization of CAS in the classroom (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). First. without prompting them so that the rate of return would be increased (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 155 understanding these differences is critical for the future utilization of CAS in engineering education because it is important to know how various student populations react to CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). A. As a result the rate of return was nearly 35% from a combination of computer science and engineering students. The study involved the Norwegian engineering student population and researchers attempted to find an answer to whether CAS is more beneficial for some groups of students than others (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The remaining questions addressed how the students viewed the utilization of CAS in the classroom (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). In addition. one could conclude that the students must first work on their modeling. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . the researchers believe that a significant part of the difficulties may be due to modeling problems (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). but were not used as part of the final analysis (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The results of this research indicate that both good and poor students perceived CAS as useful in the process of understanding mathematics (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). students must be given problems in formats that introduce new CAS syntax gradually (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). M. then the syntax problem may decrease (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). R. The study aslo found a small difference in the attitudes that students had concerning the use of CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The authors further explains that it is unclear from the answers whether the syntax problems are truly syntax problems or simply a problem with modeling problem that is independent of the CAS (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Santaella. If their capacity to model is improved. It appears from the tables that students consider themselves quite capable of interpreting the results obtained from the CAS programs. year. Nevertheless. Many of the questions were designed to gather background information concerning the students. Many educators believe that they must able to answer a series of questions prior to being comfortable with using CAS in education (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). The authors explain that “As expected. marks. The good students had a silghtly more positive attitude toward the use of the technology than did the poor students (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). Therefore if the aforementioned interpretation of the data is correct. W. As a result of the amount of syntax that the students use for elementary use of CAS being limited. This is a problem that occurs when students solve math problems by hand (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000).

Over 70 studies with quantitative data comparing calculator-based instruction to traditional instruction were used in the analysis. believe that they are able to understand the output syntax without too many difficulties (Hornaes & Royrvik 2000). research has been conducted to assess the effect of the calculator or computer on student learning. the results of the analysis on overall achievement found that most grade levels were significantly and positively affected by the use of calculators even though many of the studies did not allow calculators on the exam. About half of the studies found no significant difference in the achievement of students who use calculators compared to those who did not use calculators. School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . We do. however. that most students do not spend enough time interpreting results. Suydam’s findings suggest the use of calculators do not adversely affect student achievement. In addition. and can actually result in higher achievement when compared to noncalculator usage.July. The studies addressed the areas of achievement in traditional instruction. It is apparent that many students benefit from the use of CAS. The studies were primarily at the elementary school level.” Survey papers Barton S. However. how are the results related to the physical world. and second. 1 . This is particularly true of students that were already proficient students as it related to mathematics. The research indicates that is is important to address these issues because it essential that if CAS is utilized it is done so effectively. The research seems to assert that students tend to have better attitudes toward CAS when they have been properly taught how to use the technology and they understand the mathematecal concepts being presented. Results of the meta-analysis found average ability students at all grade levels who Conclusion Overall this section of the literature review reveals some of the problems and successes associated with the utilization of CAS. achievement within a special curriculum and student attitude toward mathematics. there are some issues associated with the overall implementation of CAS in the classroom. For example. These issues are most often related to modeling problems and the differing levels of mastery associated with the students. In 47 of the comparisons. 1980) created a report that analyzed 75 studies from the late 1960s through the 1970s relating the effects of calculator use on mathematics education. 2009 No. (2000) presented at the Atlanta 2000 ICTCM Research Concerning the Achievement of Students Who Use Calculator Technologies and Those Who Do Not The research findings of Barton (2000) explored the use of calculators and computers over a 30 year period in the classroom. Over 95 comparisons were made. Beginning in the late 1970s. We feel. and therefore do not get a dear idea about their own ability to interpret the results. This section of the resarch also focused on student attitudes toward CAS in the classroom. Suydam (1976. In addition. It is apparent that some of the tools that utilize CAS technology have some programing nuances that can be difficult for students to overcome. but more important. no significant difference was found. without being able to give other than anecdotal evidence. In addition Hembree and Dessart (1986) combined the information from Suydam and other studies into one meta-analysis.156 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July what does the output mean mathematically. studies were gathered and analysed to determine the effect of calculator use in mathematics classrooms.

or students (singly or in pairs) using microcomputers in a laboratory setting. and conceptual understanding compared to students who did not use calculators. 3 high school calculus. Smith’s review included studies in grades K-12 from 1984 to 1995.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 157 used calculators performed significantly better than the non-calculator group on computation and problem solving. sixteen appropriate studies came from King (1997). Mathematical concepts of algebra through calculus in both high school settlings and college courses were included in the review. British Education Abstract. 7 journal articles. Santaella. algebra. A. procedural achievement (though not statistically significant) was adversely affected. 9 high school precalculus. Analysis of the studies found no significant difference in achievement between students who use a graphing calculator to graph mathematical functions and those who did not. Thirty studies were collected from dissertations and journal articles published from 1986 to 1995. Fiftytwo studies were found to meet all the criteria for this review: 5 at the beginning algebra level. Mathematics topics included functions. a significant favourable effect resulted on procedural achievement when the experimental group students were allowed to use technology during testing (d) when experimental group students were denied use of technology on tests. and 2 proceedings articles. (f) access to graphing calculator only in the classroom or lab had a slightly adverse effect on conceptual achievement. King (1997) performed a meta-analysis to determine the effect of computer-enhanced instruction on college level mathematics. from the past decade. and 28 more were gathered from computer assisted searches of Dissertation Abstracts International. 5 college precalculus (including trigonometry). computation. and Humanities and Social Science Abstracts. and procedural knowledge. M. Education Abstracts. 46 of the studies found in R. Thomson. Barton (2000) One question of major interest concerning the use of technology in mathematics courses is how the overall achievement of students who use graphing technology or CAS as an aid to learning compared with students not using the technology. and 8 college calculus studies. The studies included 40 dissertations. Results of the analysis include: (a) a statistically significant positive influence found on overall achievement when the computer or graphing calculator were used (b) no significant effect was found between technology and control groups on procedural achievement. (e) instructional use of computers and graphing calculators as both tool and for demonstration was the most beneficial to all achievement. To address this issue. 4 high school Algebra II. that examined the effect of graphing technology (including computer algebra systems CAS) with control groups not using the technology were compiled. conceptual understanding. ERIC. Smith included eight secondary school comparison studies involving the graphing calculator. applied. Results discussed in this paper include student overall achievement. Since Smith’s (1996) analyses and King’s (1997) review were completed. and science calculus. 14 college algebra. Results found significantly higher achievement for students who used calculators for problem solving. linear programming. Those studies. By the late 1980s graphing calculators began to appear more frequently in mathematics classrooms. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . Results for Overall Achievement. student use of a graphing or programmable calculator. more than 60 studies investigating the impact of graphing utilities on mathematics instruction have been conducted. 4 college level elementary or intermediate algebra. Computer enhanced instruction in the studies included teacher demonstration using a single computer and a classroom display unit. and business. In another meta-analysis Smith (1996) found over 30 studies that were completed after Hembree’s review. W. however. statistics. 3 master theses. Eight studies for this review came from Smith (1996). finite mathematics.

Results from the review of research are encouraging. Treatment Control Not Re. Furthermore C&M group’s disposition toward mathematics and computers was far more positive than that of the standard group.9. C&M does eliminate this traditional approach. Traditional Mathematics courses emphasize the learning of mathematics through work.Inteof DiffeHigher Higher ported raction Studies rence 5 4 9 3 4 14 5 8 52 4 3 6 1 1 3 1 2 2 6 4 4 29 2 2 1 2 13 1 2 6 3 1 2 3 Conclusion If the descriptive statistics supplied by the 52 comparison studies are believed to be accurate. Barton (2000) Course MS/HS Begin. The Alsawaie study of 180 undergraduate students taking Mathematica versions of standard mathematics courses at UIUC in 2000 came up with these grade averages: Mathematica format 3. Al. Alg. between the control group and the treatment group. C&M Vector Calculus students out performed the standard CalcIII students on the same final anchored exam questions.g College Algebra College Precalculus College Calculus TOTAL Num. 1 . calculus as a first course in scientific measurement. This can create a good human calculator but it is not conducive to in-depth and substantive understanding of mathematical concepts. Elem. It presents a completely different way of learning about the mathematics of calculus. memorization. the benefits of the use of technology on student achievement are evident.158 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July this review contained information on overall achievement of the students in the treatment groups and comparison groups.July./ Int. HS Algebra II HS Precalculus HS Calculus Coll. and mastery of hand methods of solving problems. Travers (2000). Results: On a uniform final exam the engineering C&M students were not significantly different from the Table 1. they are free to achieve a better conceptual understanding of the material while still gaining a good knowledge of the methods of problem-solving. 2009 No. Overall Achievement Results. The following table illustrates many of the overall achievement results. Thirteen of the studies found no significant differences in overall achievement between the technologies enhanced courses and the control courses.3 Standard format 2. More than two-thirds of the studies compiled for this paper reported better overall achievement for the treatment group (graphing technology and/or CAS) and 75% of the results on measures testing for conceptual understanding favored the treatment group while nearly two-thirds of the results on procedural knowledge indicated no significant difference School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . These studies reports provide evidence that [the Mathematica format] accomodates all learners regardless of their learning styles. Park. The end result is a student who really understands the material. Since students use Mathematica software to help them through the tedious routines of traditional mathematical learning. No. Sign. Twenty-nine of the studies found statistically significant overall achievement favouring the treatment group while only one study found statistically significant overall achievement in favour of the comparison group. how technology should be used in mathematics education. how to present calculus ideas visually. A guide to the studies done on the Mathematica-based courses Uhl (2002) explains that Calculus & Mathematica (C&M) is a revolutionary way of approaching teaching calculus. what students do in calculus.

M. e-Assignments and e-Examination for Vector Calculus for the Vector Calculus Methods for Geospatial Scientists course. Siew (2003). Rocket (2000) compared performance of students who took all their UIUC calculus in Mathematica sections and performance of students who took all their UIUC calculus in standard sections in selected engineering courses. A. with diagnostic feedback. We propose to investigate a Lecturer Interactive CAA. (Engelbrecht. where the lecturer could interactively mark the text comments and the plots. The State of Play at the beginning of this study By the end of 2002. However our teaching approach emphasizes the inclusion of write-ups and plots and these are difficult to computer mark automatically. Assignment procedures discussed include e-Assignments for Simpson’s rule and Computer Aided Assessment for calculus subject taken in first semester concurrently with Nonlinear Mathematics. Assessment experience is discussed with different mathematics courses at RMIT at mathematics department where Maple and other Web options were used. Harding (2003). the aim was to develop Maple resources building on the conclusions that had been drawn from the previous studies such as Sanders (2003). The results indicate improved grades from Mathematica style courses. The subject content covers the second half of a standard first year engineering and science topics. W. We suggest that this would allow for very efficient marking. The marking load. The visualisation aspect of associated with R. Blyth (2001. 2003). matrices.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 159 engineering lecture students in matters of hand calculation. In this section we provide an outline of this work. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . Santaella. (LICAA). We have started to investigate the use of Computer Assisted Assignments (CAA) and have implemented an AIM version. Thomson. one of our e-assignments (and planned another. vector-valued functions and functions of several variables. Lawson 2002). These topics include: differential equations. soon to be implemented) which include detailed diagnostic feedback Sangwin (2003). But the engineering C&M group were significantly better on conceptual scores than the engineering lecture group. previous studies in 2001 and 2002 had led to the following conclusions: • Students prefer the Maple sessions to be tied in with the work that they are doing in lectures. Research Methodology Introduction An Action Research Methodology has been followed when developing the Maple resources for the first year second semester course MATH1143 at RMIT in 2003 and 2004. In another study. 2002. Saunders (2003). This meant using Maple to perform complex calculations so that students could concentrate on the higher-level skills. all of our assessment objectives with very little compromise of those objectives. • Students prefer the Maple sessions to be timetabled regularly throughout the semester. Assessment of e-Mathematics with Maple This surveys reviewed different options for electronic assessments and exams including the use of Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA). Our e-assignments and e-examinations are Maple files and are often individualized. The Aims of the MA1143 in 2003 Study For the purposes of the current study. particularly for large courses. is always an issue. that would satisfy almost A Summary of the Course and the Students MATH1143 is a second semester course at RMIT whose prerequisite course is MATH1142. infinite series.

Maple Refresher First order Differential Equations Second order Differential Equations Modelling with Differential Equations The Maple worksheets. During the first session of the semester. Matrix Algebra 11. Weekly Observations and Work Samples Maple Refresher The MATH1143 students had some experience with Maple during the previous semester. the MA1143 subject content was considered in terms of the following: • What were the aspects with which students typically had the most difficulty? • Were there any topics that would seem to be especially suitable to exploring with Maple? On this basis. Initially paper and pencil tasks were incorporated with Maple tasks but this was discontinued (by the later part of 2003) following student feedback. In determining what subject content should be included in the Maple sessions. how far they had helped with the development of understanding of the mathematics involved and how competent students felt as Maple problem-solvers. School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . Report of the Findings so far. there was a gap of ten weeks between the last Maple session so it was important to present the students the opportunity of refreshing their memories of some basic Maple commands. Maple worksheets were upgraded by the researcher and supervisor. The assignment work was to be handed in by the students at the end of each one-hour session. Directional Derivatives 8. lines and planes 7. Development of the Maple Resources In developing the Maple resources. it was decided that the Maple sessions would be structured as followed: 1. Taylor Series 9. This was so that the organisation of marking and returning work would be straight forward and also so that the students would not end up spending an undue amount of time on Maple assignments outside of the scheduled class times. 2. The purpose was to determine how useful the students found the Maple tasks. 3. The research activity for this study involved an evaluation the student’s response to the new Maple materials and their delivery. Eigenvectors and Eigenvalues A description of the development process for each Maple worksheet is given below. exercises and assignment component. the aims were similar to those in the previous studies. it would not be enough time to cover all the topics covered in lectures.July. Each Maple worksheet includes written explanation on topic. 5. The students were to extend their familiarity with Maple as a problem-solving tool in a way that would contribute positively to their experience of the course and encourage a better understanding of the mathematics involved. 4. Surfaces and Space Curves 6. Vectors. 2009 No.160 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July the use ofMaple was also put to good use. The Maple worksheets were put onto the webpage using Blackboard for the course so that the students could access the worksheets directly at the beginning of the session or sometimes even earlier. With only one hour per week available for the Maple sessions. 1 . the students accessed the Maple Refresher worksheet. The aim here was that students would be better equipped then to learn some new commands the following week and they would also be more confident and positive about the Maple sessions if they had the chance to review the previous work. The students’ overall Maple mark would be calculated using a ‘best of’ formula (best 8 out of 10 assignments since the Maple refresher does not include an assignment). Sanders (2003). However. The Maple sessions were organised in such a way that the students could have regular contact with Maple as part of their course. Solving Systems of Linear Equations 10.

This worksheet was again generally successful. One of the benefits promoted by the use of CAS in teaching mathematics is that more realistic situations can be modelled.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 161 In-class observations showed that the students did not have a very clear memory of how to select and enter the basic commands needed to expand and factorise expressions and solve equations. It was clear that some of the difficulties the students experienced with tasks were Maple difficulties--problems with the syntax for a particular command or difficulties in finding errors. The students had been studying ordinary differential equations in the lectures. Students had been taught them in their lecture classes. The students enjoyed the animation of the pendulum and appreciated the dynamic representation. Most students were able to complete the full worksheet here. W. A. During the exercise. The students were also now more competent using Maple and were familiar with the general approach for the class. The auxiliary quadratic had real roots. This worksheet used the example of a simple pendulum to illustrate differential equations being used to model a concrete application. Students would not be able to interpret the animation code or write their own animation but in terms of visualizing the problem it is very helpful to provide animation for them. The activity based on this worksheet shows that good design can have students thinking about the mathematics. Modelling with Differential Equations As it related to this particular worksheet. This worksheet was successful on the whole in teaching the students how to use Maple to solve second order equations. The students working in small groups were often dividing the tasks amongst them rather than all going through the tasks together. Thomson. Second order Differential Equations The next week’s Maple session moved on to look at the solution of second order ordinary differential equations. This worksheet looked at a practical application of solutions to first order differential equations in the form of Newton’s Law of Cooling. They were able to pick out the particular integral from a general solution. This first session showed that although the students had had recent experience with Maple. Graphs and animations were used to help the students to visualise the solutions. the students were required to use Maple to solve the differential equation representing the motion of the pendulum when a damping factor is introduced. The Maple code to solve equation was presented as an example. First order Differential Equations This worksheet was the first that would form a component in the evaluated work. M. The students had a good deal of experience solving differential equations with Maple by now and this task presented few problems. Given that the visualisation aspect of Maple has proved useful previously. Santaella. An issue often raised with regard to the use of CAS is the fact that much of the computation work is hidden and activities need to be designed carefully to encourage the students to think about what the software is doing. An example showed the code used to represent and solve the differential equation for certain initial conditions. they were not at all confident in using Maple at this stage. Maple was used to enhance the students’ visualisation of the three- R. The group work situation enabled the students to discuss what they were doing and often figure out solutions amongst themselves while the students working individually often had to ask for help as soon as they encountered a problem. Some students were trying to go straight to the exercises without looking at the Surfaces and Space Curves The Maple sessions were next used to look at functions of several variables. examples. Most students were able to identify the type of solution from the auxiliary equation. the aim was to look at a problem-solving situation where the students could see a concrete application of the solution to differential equations. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics .

In this worksheet. The difficulties were in working out the nth terms and School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . Most of the students needed help finding the three directional derivatives that they were asked to find and had problems understanding topic from the lecture. One of the useful features of three-dimensional plots in Maple is the facility to rotate the surface. Most students were able to complete tasks correctly.162 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July dimensional graphical representations of functions of two variables and of space curves. they had a stronger conceptual knowledge of the meaning of the directional derivative and how it might be used. This worksheet demonstrated a situation where initial confusion is sometimes evident before the students reach a better understanding of a concept. The visualisation aspect is paramount here as the facility to pick up and rotate the surfaces gives the students a much better appreciation than they would have from lectures. the students managed the tasks in this worksheet well and seemed to enjoy being able to utilise the three dimensional graphics capabilities of Maple. the relation of the radius of convergence to the converging polynomials was not obvious. The first task for the students was to find an expression for the nth term of a Taylor Series based on the first few terms derived by Maple in an example. scalar and vector products and the angle between vectors.July. lines and planes Focus of this worksheet is basic vector work and the commands needed to plot lines and planes. Students were really active and progress in Maple was obvious. Some students had difficulty in relating the directional derivative to the context given but once they had done this. This suggested that the students were not as experienced in performing such a task as might be expected. They were then asked to find the gradient vector at the given point. requiring them to superimpose an arrow on a plane to represent the normal vector. most students were able to construct a plot of a given surface and show a particular point on the surface. Three of the students left written comments in assignments how they are impressed by the graphics of planes. Taylor Series The Taylor Series derivation for a given function requires significant computational work and the aim of the worksheet was to use Maple to carry out the procedures and allow the students to focus on the overall structure of the Taylor Polynomials produced. 1 . Common difficulties came when plotting the cylinder and helix. Vectors. Most students had no difficulty generating a plot of a given elliptic paraboloid and identifying the level curves from the contourplot. Most students were able to predict the next term in the series but many needed help to construct the nth term definition from there. The equation of the surface of the cylinder was difficult for some of the students to obtain and many used the ‘cylinder’ command from the plottools package. 2009 No. The students were shown examples of how Maple commands can be used to perform basic algebra with vectors and to find unit vectors. The responses to the worksheet were again positive. The students were able to use the basic vector commands effectively and the use of the three-dimensional plots helped the students to visualise the concept of a normal vector and the angle between planes. This worksheet seemed to present the students with more mathematical difficulties. which they found by using the help facility. This worksheet was the most difficult for students and some students couldn’t complete assignment by end of the class. On the whole. To some students. There were some difficulties in identifying the vectors required for the arrow command but these were usually quickly resolved. Directional Derivatives The aim of the directional derivatives worksheet was to again use Maple to help students understand the concept of a directional derivative by using visualisation.

Solving Systems of Linear Equations Equations of three variables were used so the visualisation element was brought in again by representing equations by planes and considering the intersection of the planes. Thomson. the exercises quite quickly once some initial difficulties were overcome. Matrix Algebra The next matrices worksheet used Maple to explore some results in matrix algebra. the animation showed the relationship between the original vector and the image vector depending on the position of the original vector. Furthermore. students became more experienced Maple users. The research design needed to address the evaluation of the Maple sessions in relation to these aims. the group said that it had been interesting learning to use a mathematics software system as they had not come across anything like it before. The consideration of the student’s conceptual and procedural levels described previously could also be addressed in relation to their continuing development here. the first task was to establish whether some combinations of operations on matrices are equivalent by using Maple to compute particular examples. The row reduction method for finding a matrix inverse was also presented. W. Santaella. The students were now also very familiar with using the plot commands and the visualisation of the solutions was seen to be helpful. There was a generally positive response to this worksheet. particularly involving inverses and transposes. It was confirmed that using the ‘RowOperation’ command enabled the students to concentrate on the overall strategy without having to deal with detailed computations. Most students were able to establish the correct results but many did not present the steps very clearly and some got into difficulty by reusing a name for a matrix and not realising that Maple would be using a previous definition. Eigenvectors and Eigenvalues The final Maple worksheet was an adaptation of a previous worksheet.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 163 radius of convergence. the animation presented a useful visualisation of the eigenvector concept. The students were generally able to work through Research Design As with the previous studies. Most students reported that they preferred to use the ‘LinearSolve’ command as it enabled the solution to be found immediately but some students said that they preferred to use ‘RowOperation’ because they could “see what was going on. the worksheet worked well. Although students generally find the method for finding eigenvalues and eigenvectors reasonably straightforward. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . A. For some students. a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was to be used to evaluate the students’ responses to the Maple sessions for MATH1143. This worksheet used a visual representation of the eigenvector in two dimensions to demonstrate the fact that the eigenvector is the vector whose direction is unchanged under the transformation represented by the given matrix. R. given that the Maple sessions were a regular and significant part of the course. The eigenvalue as scale factor could also be clearly seen. to help students develop better understanding of the mathematics involved and to give them some experience of using a sophisticated CAS to solve problems. Saunders (2003). Some students had particular difficulty when a long series of operations needed to be computed. they often do not have any useful conceptual idea of what their results mean. Hence. dealing with eigenvectors and eigenvalues. The intention was that the students can focus on the relation to the graphs. Some students expressed pleasure and surprise at being able to write out the pencil and paper proofs so succinctly in the second question. The aims of the sessions were to provide an interesting and motivating activity. In this worksheet. Overall.” Overall. M.

Cooperative work helped me learn. Please pick your group. as is done with the second semester course MATH1142. Maple classes for MATH1142 are still in a block at the end of semester. This clearly appears to be less desirable than through the semester. 2009 No. Maple Survey In addition to the aforementioned research. SD D N A SA c) The animation assignment and presentation was interesting and helped me learn math. Some use of CAA is desirable and reduce the high demand on staff time to annotate mark and return by email the individuate assignments. After careful analysis of student work. We have analysed in detail two assignments that have been individualized for each small group. SD D N A SA 3.July. SD D N A SA d) The curve translation (with automatic marking) helped me learn maths. coloured dark green. A labelled diagram is required – something that computer assisted assessment (CAA) programs don’t help with! We emphasize that Maple files should include graphics and a “write-up” and propose. The solutions are Maple files submitted to proxy email accounts. Express yourself about each one. there was also an additional survey given to students. One of these assignments focuses on numerical integration using trapezoidal and Simpson’s rules. SD D N A SA b) I preferred to submit electronically (via email). The marked Maple files are emailed back to each student. We made experiments with various forms of e-assignments. SD D N A SA School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . MATH1142 is a traditional calculus course where Maple is used in separate lab sessions to support the teaching and learning.164 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July Notes are made on the students’ reactions to the worksheets. we will now re-design this to be submitted and marked by AIM – a computer based assessment system that uses Maple to interrogate the answers and provide feed back for particular errors (in how Simpson’s rule has been incorrectly programmed). Another individualized assignment is where students use our version of the Polya type of problem solving approach using Maple to maximise the area in the Norman window problem. They are marked with the overall marks distribution and detailed comments interspersed throughout the Maple file – all in a new paragraph style. We had 3 types of assignments in our lab classes. We use Blackboard to post the teaching and assessment materials (Maple files) on the web. Blyth and Labovic (2004). This survey included the following questions. Maths Others 2. 1. We want to be able to assess how and what we value. a) I preferred to submit hardcopy assignment. 1 . that CAA tools should provide a semi-automatic marking mode where some text and graphics can be marked by the lecturer with the computations (symbolic and numeric) marked automatically. Work samples were analysed from groups also. The first semester course MATH1142 in 2004 In 2004.

Nearly 60% of math degree candidated either “agree” or “strongly disagree” in submitting their assignments electronically. 68% of other degree candidates “agree” or “strongly agree” that they prefer to submit assignments electronically. Other Degree Candidates Math Degree Candidates The results for question 2 (a) seem to indicate that most students that are math degree candidates prefer to turn in hard copies of there assignments. Santaella. Other Degree Candidates SD=6 D=17 N=6 A=2 SA=0 Total Others=31 Math Degree Candidates SD=0 D=2 N=5 A=12 SA=10 Total Math=29 Question 2(c) The animation assignment and presentation was interesting and helped me learn math.Strongly Agree with submitting hard copies of their assignments. RESULTS SD=0 D=4 N=6 A=11 SA=10 Total Others=31 Other Degree Candidates Results of the Survey At the end of the 2005 semester researchers conducted the survey to gauge student’s satisfaction concerning some of the assignments they had to complete. In fact nearly 76% “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” SD=0 D=0 N=6 A=15 SA=10 Total Others=31 SD=0 D=2 N=1 A=17 SA=9 Total Math=29 As it relates to the question of animation assisting in the learning experience. The graphs produced in the Maple sessions were helpful to my understanding.Strongly Disagree D . A. Thomson. W. Information we collected was really satisfactory. Question 2(a) I preferred to submit hardcopy assignment. Express yourself about each one. In addition.Agree SA . 27% of the of all the participants were neutral concerning this issue. and equal number of the other degree students strongly disagree or are neutral concerning the issue of submitting hard copies of their assignments.Neutral A . it appears that R. SD D N A SA KEY: SD . The results are as follows: SD=0 D=2 N=10 A=8 SA=9 Total Math=29 Math Degree Candidates Questions 2 We had 3 types of assignments in our lab classes. Question 2(b) I preferred to submit electronically (via email). RESULTS As it relates to submitting assignments electronically. M.Disagree N .2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 165 4. A total of 60 students out of 122 of the enrolled students submitted the survey. On the other hand. students not seeking math degrees most often disagree with submitting hard copies. Thirtyone of the participants from “others” degree and 29 were math degree candidates. In addition. Only 10% of all the students that answered this question disagreed with submitting assignments electronically. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics .

Question 2(d) The curve translation (with automatic marking) helped me learn math. while 60% of math degree candidates asserted that cooperative work was helpful. In addition. SD=0 D=2 N=10 A=8 SA=9 Total Math=29 Math Degree Candidates Question 4 The graphs produced in the Maple sessions were helpful to my understanding. 2009 No. the majority of all respondents asserted that they agree or strongly agree that the graphs produced by the Maple session assisted their learning. However. SD=0 D=1 N=6 A=14 SA=10 Total Others=31 SD=0 D=2 N=5 A=13 SA=9 Total Math=29 Math Degree Candidates Question 3 Cooperative work helped me learn. nearly an identical percentage (76%) of the math degree students also believed that the graphs were beneficial. None of the participant strongly disagreed concerning the efficacy of cooperative learning. Only 7 of the 60 participants were neutral concerning this particular issue. 34% of the math candidates were neutral concerning this issue and 19% of other degree students were neutral concerning this issue. In addition nearly 70% of the other degree candidates believed that cooperative work was beneficial. Only 3% of all the participants believed that the animation was not helpful and all were math degree students. None of the benefits “strongly disagree” that the graphs were beneficial. In addition a total of 10% of all respondents disagreed concerning the helpfulness of curve translation featuring automatic marking. Only 5% all participants disagreed that the graphs were beneficial. 1 . Discussion of Survey Results The overall results of this survey seemed to indicate that students that are not seeking math degrees seem to benefit more from computer technology as it relates to the learning of math. In addition. In fact 77% of the other degree students “agree” and “strongly agree” that the graphs were beneficial. An estimated 81% of other degree students and 89% of math degree students either “agree” or “strongly agree” that the animation was helpful.166 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July almost an equal number of other degree students and math degree students believed that the animation was helpful in assisting their learning math. RESULTS SD=0 D=4 N=6 A=11 SA=10 Total Others=31 Other Degree Candidates SD=0 D=2 N=10 A=8 SA=9 Total Math=29 Math Degree Candidates Concerning the final survey question. Other Degree Candidates RESULTS The results for this particular survey question indicate that 68% of other degree candidates “agree” or “strongly agree” that the curve translation featuring automatic marking assisted them in learning math. While only 60% of math degree candidates believed that it was helpful in understanding math. RESULTS SD=0 D=4 N=6 A=11 SA=10 Total Others=31 Other Degree Candidates The responses to these questions indicate that most of the participants benefit from cooperative work.July. it indicates that students that are math degree majors prefer to submit hard copies School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal .

This meant that they discussed. Conclusions and future work This research has provided an in depth analysis of the literature that exist on this topic. It also appears that those that have a firm foundation in math also prefer to turn in hard copies of assignments. Students are generally positive about the motivational impact of the Maple sessions. Many students develop a reasonable level of competence with the basic commands and students are often able to present a correct Maple solution. As it relates specifically to the maple activities the results indicate however that most students found some benefit in the Maple activities with regard to their mathematical understanding and the visualisation capabilities seemed to once again be significantly useful. W. Overall the literature review indicates that there is a need for CAS and the use of technology in the teaching of mathematics. So the previous finding supporting paper and pencil tasks would appear not to be appropriate for the future. While it is difficult to surmise why these results show these disparities. The research also found that teachers must be properly prepared for the use of technology within the classroom. It also apparent that there are some issues associated with the use of CAS and the preparation of preservice teachers.2009 Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics 167 of assignments. It can be concluded that students that have and acumen for math can benefit from the Maple technology. research has indicated that technology is a critical component in the enhancement of mathematical skills. Thomson. It is also apparent that different students can have quite different attitudes towards the same activity. The research also found that the proper use of CAS has been associated with increases in the amount of information that students retain as it relates to mathematics. A. The majority of students worked together as a team to produce their solutions. Computer Algebra Systems play an important role in mathematics particularly as it relates to students and their perceptions about learning Algebra through CAS. As a result instructors must understand the importance of taking advantage of technology while teching valuable mathematics skills. Many students comment that they would have valued more time on the Maple activities. explained and justified their R. In addition. Student attitudes toward CAS technology seem to be reflected in the level of mastery associated with certain mathematical concepts and the proper teaching as it relates to the utilization of CAS. Santaella. they do seem to indicate that those that already have a firm understanding of math benefit less for math related technologies. As students go to college and move into the workforce math skills and technological skills become important components in ensuring job security. In other words students that mastered various mathematical concepts and knew how to use CAS properly had a more positive attitude toward the effectiveness of CAS. As it relates to the current study it was clear from the consideration of previous studies. The literature indicates that the No Child Left Behind Act has played a significant role in improving mathematic education throughout the country. Boulat Maple and other CAS (Computer Algebra Systems) applied to Teaching and Assessing Mathematics . Most students gain an impression of the usefulness of Maple as a mathematics tool. In 2003 the use of paper and pencil were reduced at the request of the students. This means that teachers should be presented with certain guidelines and learn how to implement these guidelines as it relates to teaching mathematics while simultaneously using technology. even though they may have divided tasks amongst them. M. The research indicated that there has been a significant increase in the utilization of technology in the areas of science and mathematics. The investigation found that technology is needed and useful in the comprehension of mathematics. Saunders (2003) and our work to date that there are a variety of responses to the Maple sessions and CAS as a whole. however those students that do not have this acumen are less likely to benefit from this technology. The level of problem-solving competence with Maple is reasonable but many students rely on the example code and would have difficulty typing in commands from scratch. A review of the research confirms this assertion.

Future research should include studies concerning this phenomenon. At this stage. Suppl. References Ball D. 2009 No. Australia. What Does the Research Say about Achievement of Students Who Use Calculator Technologies and Those Who Do Not? E. 13-C25. It seems that technology is beneficial in this population and assist in learning new math concepts. Austria. Finite Element Methods: Presentation and Animation using Maple. Blyth. Future research must make more effective use of classrooms that have incorporated such technology at every level of education. Further work is required on how to modify AIM (software for automated marking) to be able to capture some parts of assignments such as program code corrections for Simpson’s rule (as discussed above) and providing diagnostic feedback for students. However. 1 . Rand: Santa Monica. (CDROM). Maple work is better schedule through out the semester. (2001). Barton.F. Doing so could provide a standard for future utilization of these technologies that can be used in schools throughout the country. there seems to be some benefit associated with the use of math technology for college students that are not math majors. (2003) Mathematical Proficiency for All Students: Toward a Strategic Research and Development Program in Mathematics Education. 7-12. L..July. Students organised to work in small groups appear to be well motivated and successful with the tasks. S. B. ANZIAM. In J. bk teachware. editor. Engineering Mathematics Group. Further work is required to develop procedures to include text and graphs in semi-automatic marking. (2000). In addition it might be important to investigate whether Maple or some other for of CAS is most effective in the classroom. There are many aspects of research that have not been addressed as it relates to CAS. Quaestiones Mathematicae. Visualization of slicing diagrams for double integrals using Maple. the following points could be made regarding the effective use of Maple activities in first year service courses: It is helpful for the Maple activities to be closely integrated with the work covered in lecture classes. editors.math. EMAC2003 Proceedings. Blyth. There must also be research concerning the most effective teaching tools for teachers as they also learn how to utilize this technology.168 School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal July work to each other. Conducting such research is a critical component in the successful development of CAS curriculum and the improvement of mathematics scores. May and W.utk. 201—208. CA. (2003). Animations using Maple in First Year. Overall it is suggested that further research investigate the most effective programs that utilize CAS. The results of the Maple survey are indicative of the idea that those with an existing ability for math are less likely to benefit from math related technologies. Proc. ICTCM 13 (Atlanta 2000).edu/ICTCM/ Blyth. B. In R. Supplement. 1 . The survey also indicates that students benefited from working cooperatively. B. Proceedings of the Vienna International Symposium on Integrating Technology into Mathematics Education (VISITME-2002). available at the URL: http://archives. (2002). Understanding the most effective type of program may assist curriculum developers in future.L. Blyth. School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal . It also seems that math degree majors are more likely to prefer submitting hardcopies of their assignments even though they are also fond of submitting assignments electronically. Böhm. Proceedings of the Sixth Engineering Mathematics and Applications Conference.

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