Investigating the Effectiveness of Using GeoGebra Software on Students' Mathematical Proficiency
BAKRI MOHAMMED AHMAD AWAJI
The main aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using GeoGebra software (GGS)-based pedagogy on students’ mathematical proficiency. The National Research Centre’s mathematical proficiency strands provide a framework for this study. It aims to compare the results of a mathematical proficiency test completed by two groups of students, namely an experimental group taught using GGS-based pedagogy and a control group taught using a traditional approach. All the mathematical proficiency test items are drawn from the international examination, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The study also seeks to ascertain teachers’ views regarding learning and teaching mathematics using GGS. This research used a mixed method approach. The study deployed four research instruments: three mathematical proficiency tests (MPTs) and a productive deposition questionnaire with students, and interviews and written responses with teachers. This study used non-equivalent group (pre-test and post-test) measures, conducted in two stages. In addition to the MPTs in each stage, which aimed to measure the first four strands of mathematical proficiency (conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, and adaptive reasoning), a questionnaire was administered twice with each group, before and after the tests. These questionnaires aimed to measure the fifth strand of mathematical proficiency (productive disposition). Also, in this study, a group of teachers underwent a Professional Development Course (PDC) for five days on using GGS effectively in classrooms, as well as three rounds of semi-structured interviews: before, during, and after the PDC. The main aim of these interviews was to explore teachers’ perceptions of using GGS in the classroom and its effect on students' mathematical proficiency. They were also involved in a group discussion on the fifth day to discuss and write about their experiences using GGS after the PDC (Teachers’ Written Responses). The study found that the impact of GGS-based pedagogy was unstable and varied across differing strands of mathematics proficiency. For example, the results revealed the use of GGS-based pedagogy had a significant effect on students’ overall mathematics achievement, procedural fluency, and productive disposition in two units (Numbers and Geometry). In contrast, for strategic competence and adaptive reasoning, using GGS-based pedagogy appeared to have no influence over and above the traditional approach. Regarding the conceptual understanding strand, the results showed that the effect of using GGS-based pedagogy differed from one unit to another. In the case of the first unit (Number), using a GGS-based pedagogy had a substantial effect on students’ understanding of concepts. In contrast, in the second unit (Geometry), the results revealed that using GGS-based pedagogy did not influence students’ uptake of the concepts. The results of qualitative analysis showed that the mathematics teachers had positive views of the effectiveness of using GGS as a tool for teaching and learning mathematics. This positive views are presented in five themes: GGS as time/effort saver; GGS's representational capacity in enhancing teaching; GGS as an effective learning tool; GGS as a facilitator of student engagement; and GGS as a supporter of mathematics skills.