The Use of Graphing Software in the Mathematics Classroom (5)


Although no quantitative analysis of the effects of Autograph on the students understanding and performance was undertaken in this study, it was easy to observe changes in student behavior when exploring mathematical topics using Autograph. This was shown when some of the above activities were used in class and students worked individually, in pairs or groups. I believe that the use of Autograph helped in creating a new environment not experienced by students before. They were actively involved most of the time during these activities and this shows their enthusiasm about using this software to explore mathematical objects.

Using this software to visually represent mathematical objects such as functions and equations definitely help students understand these objects but is not enough. Autograph is a highly interactive software and this interactivity has to be fully exploited by the students in order to benefit to benefit from it. Activities have to be designed to meet well defined objectives and students’ activities must be well defined.

A more comprehensive quantitative and qualitative study of the effects, of the use of Autograph, on students understanding and performance is needed. This will help in understanding these effects but will also help in adjusting the ways in which Autograph is used and also designing other activities. Such a study will also help to focus on the activities which have more effects on students understanding of mathematical concepts and objects.


The author would like to thank all colleagues at UGRU with whom he had fruitful discussions about this work.


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