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Mathematics in Education, Research and Applications (MERAA), 2021(7), 1

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Published online 2020-10-15

Differences in the use of electronic and printed versions of a university mathematics workbook

Klára Vocetková, Marek Šulista
University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Economics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Article Fulltext (PDF), pp. 33–49

The recent months have shifted contact teaching to the online environment and distance learning and students are dealing more and more with digital materials in various e-learning systems. The question is whether the online electronic materials are as effective as their printed versions for the students using them for self-study purposes. This paper presents research focusing on university students' work with an electronic and printed version of a mathematics workbook. The main research focuses on differences regarding error rate, the number of used hints, and the time they need to spend to solve 111 mathematical problems covering four topics of their introductory course of Mathematics such as limits, graphs, differentiation, and applications of derivatives. One hundred fifty-seven university students participated in the research working with sets of mathematical problems with multi-choice answers taken from the Khan Academy, including step-by-step hints. At the same time, the students were recording their errors, time, and the number of used hints using a questionnaire. The electronic sets were transformed into an electronic workbook and afterward into a printed version of this workbook. Obtained data were analysed using the Random Mixed Model as it enables to mix the used mathematical problems with different variance. The most exciting finding of this research was that the students working with the electronic version of the workbook work significantly faster but at the expense of errors. Students working with the interactive version of the workbook used significantly fewer hints.

Keywords: Khan Academy, mathematics, e-workbook/textbook, printed workbook/textbook, random-mixed model, technology of education, university student learning
JEL Classification: I20, I21, C12