MATHEMATICS APPLICATIONS IN TECHNOLOGY: STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTITUDE
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Problem. This study sought to examine the relationships between the use of applications from the engineering technologies to teach mathematics topics, student achievement in mathematics and attitudes towards the subject.;Methodology. The population of the study was 109 engineering technology students in a community college. The experimental group was taught specified mathematics topics in technical mathematics via integrated materials drawn from engineering technology curricula. The control group was taught the same topics via traditional, abstract presentation. Two instructors participated, each teaching one experimental and one control class. The study was quasi-experimental because assignment to classes was not random.;The data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance, Spearman coefficients of rank correlation and two-way analysis of variance by ranks.;Conclusions. (1)There was a significant difference between experimental and control groups, in favor of the experimental, in mastery of the content of the specified topics, as measured by examinations given after each topic. (2)There was a significant difference between experimental and control groups, in favor of the experimental, in retention of the content of the specified topics, as measured by specified questions on the final examination. (3)Those students who exhibited more positive attitudes towards mathematics, after treatment, exhibited significantly better mastery and retention of the specified topics, than those who exhibited less positive attitudes. Attitudes towards mathematics were measured by the Aiken Mathematics Attitude Scale. (4)There was a significant difference between experimental and control groups, after treatment, in favor of the experimental, in positive attitude change towards mathematics. Change in attitude was measured by pre and posttest scores on the Aiken Scale. (5) Those students in the experimental group who exhibited more positive attitudes towards technology exhibited more positive attitudes towards mathematics, after treatment. Attitudes towards technology were measured by the Technology Attitude Scale, a researcher-designed scale.;Recommendations. The results of this quasi-experimental study were nondefinitive but strongly suggestive. Further research is indicated, using: (1)additional topics in the technical mathematics sequence; (2)populations from other technical curricula such as nursing and data processing; (3)effects of faculty attitudes towards technical students.