Learner perceptions of the introduction of computerassisted learning in mathematics at a peri-urban school in South Africa
Hartley, M. Shaheed
Treagust, M. David
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This study responded to a national call to improve the outcomes in mathematics in the Grade 12 matriculation examination in South Africa by reporting learners’ perceptions of the introduction of computer-assisted learning in their mathematics classrooms. Three Grade 12 mathematics classes in a peri-urban school in South Africa were visited over a period of 4 months to observe the inclusion of a computer centre as part of the teaching of mathematics. Learner perceptions were obtained from (1) individual and group interviews and (2) an actual and preferred version of a learning environment instrument called the Computer-Assisted Learning Environment Questionnaire, which was developed for the South African context. Learners indicated that they considered application of computers as a positive step as it (1) increased their involvement in the mathematics classroom, (2) gave them more exercises in problem solving in mathematics, and (3) provided them with the opportunity to assess their own learning. However, a strong recommendation from this response is for more computers to be made available in order to allow learners to work individually and thereby be able to spend more time using the computers.