Susan Kedroski

CECS 5610

Assignment #1

**Enyedy, N., Gifford, B. & Vahey, P.( 2000). Learning
Probablity Through the Use of a Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Simulation
Experiment. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 11(1), 51-84.**

** **

**Principle:**
This article attempts to assess whether a computer simulation aids in
the instruction of a probability unit.

**Design:** The
sample for this experiment consisted of two seventh grade classes that
implemented the PIE (Probability Inquiry Environment) curriculum (computer
simulation) and two sections of seventh graders taught in a traditional
manner. Each class was administered a
pre and posttest.

**Independent Variable:** The use of a computer simulation in addition to the traditional
curriculum.

**Dependant Variable:**
Student achievement in the mathematics domain of probability.

**Procedures:**
The pre and posttests were constructed from standardized tests and
suggestions from the NCTM (National Council of Teachers in Mathematics). The research focused on the posttest and even
gave examples of actual test questions.
The research did not mention the pretest, other than it was easier than
the posttest. The test was multiple
choice and short answer. A blind
scoring process was used so that the researcher did not know to which groups
the students belonged.

**Results:** A
three way analyses of variance was carried out on three factors: condition, gender, and test score. Both the condition and the test score had a
significant main effect. The gender
factor was found to have no main effect.
In addition, *t*-tests were done on the pre and posttests. There were no significant differences
between the two groups on the pretest, but a significant difference on the
posttest.

**Comments:** As
a math teacher, probability continues to be a topic that students struggle to
learn. It is important to have students
conduct probability experiments, but I can see how a computer simulation could
make things more efficient and time could be better spent on discussion.