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Title: Improving and assessing students' line graph interpretations : the case of the graph-as-picture interpretation
Author: García García, Grecia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 1886
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2015
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The “graph-as-picture misconception” (GAPM) occurs when an abstract representation (e.g., a line graph) is interpreted as a picture of an object (e.g., a mountain). Previous research on students' line graph interpretations has focused on secondary school level and above, thus this research extends the investigation of the GAPM to primary school level. Particularly, it investigates: which type of environment is more effective for improving young students' line graph interpretations; and how can be assessed their interpretations. A pilot study involved an improved version of Janvier's (1978) paper-and-pencil tasks (to create an interactive learning environment) and it investigated how to incorporate a card-sort task (to assess students' interpretations). Different touch-screen technologies were considered too. Two experiments were conducted. In experiment one, 37 participants (third to sixth year) were assessed in their graphical knowledge through a picture/diagram card-sort task and a “pictorial group” was formed using participants' interpretations. During the intervention, students performed an active or passive mode of a Racing Car activity in which they moved or watched a car along a track while its speed/distance graph was plotted concurrently alongside. The results suggested that a wide variety of pictorial interpretations exist and students seemed to benefit from the active modality. In experiment two, 38 fifth-year students performed different assessment tests. Extending experiment one, a “drawing the graph” mode and its passive modality were included. In that mode, students modified a plotted line of a speed/distance graph, which was used by the system to race a car along a track. Previous results were not confirmed: only students under the “drawing the graph” modality (including the “pictorial group”) significantly improved their interpretations; and different assessment tests seemed better to observe students' various interpretations. In conclusion, a learning environment that allows interaction with the representation could potentially improve students' interpretations, which might be better assessed through a rich set of tests.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1060 Learning ; LB1139.G4 Geometry concept ; LB1501 Primary education