Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)

Department

Institute of Technology, Tralee

First Advisor

Helen Fitzgerald

Abstract

The growth of virtual learning environments (VLE) and learning management systems (LMS) in the European and British educational sector is a trend that is continuing to grow. There are indications that education in Ireland will follow a similar trend. This study investigated whether a curriculum aligned multimedia application in a MOODLE VLE encouraged students to improve their scores in the standardized tests, in particular the primary school SIGMA-T test. Participants’ attitude and self-efficacy in relation to maths were also included in the study.

The areas of learning and in particular e-leaming in the context of a VLE were researched. As part of the study the local Education Centre was approached and a pilot project was set up. The participants were set up on the MOODLE VLE and a number of relevant mathematical games were incorporated in the module. The Digimaths product was developed based on the Irish primary school curriculum’s aims and objectives for a section of the curriculum strand, Shape and Space. This product was uploaded on to the MOODLE VLE. A number of data collection techniques were used, including pre-tests, post-tests, standardised tests, notation, interviews and an evaluative questionnaire.

The results of the research undertaken, suggest that a multimedia product designed to meet the curriculum objectives does impact maths attainment. There was an increase of 6.6% in the participants class mean for STEN scores. The participants’ self-efficacy and attitude towards mathematics improved and a correlation between improved attitude towards maths and increased self-efficacy is indicated. Collaborative learning took place with over 50% of participants reporting been assisted or assisting in the project. Constraints of the study were the limited time factor and the non-probability nature of the sample.

The findings are significant as the two government reports just published in July 2008 confirm that the some of the recommendations for 2008 - 2013 for schools give credence to the research.

Comments

M.Sc. Educational Technologies.

Access Level

info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

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