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Title: Addressing Ireland's attainment problem in mathematics : explorations using an online bounded knowledge domain
Author: Mac Eochagáin, Thomás
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 5509
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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Using a sample of over 1,000 students in the Republic of Ireland, this research study investigates the potential for a specific form of online courseware resource to play a complementary support role in advancing Leaving Certificate students' mathematics learning. The study involves the specification, design and development of a bespoke Online Bounded Knowledge Domain (OBKD), focused exclusively on the Leaving Certificate mathematics syllabus at ordinary level. Operating in a similar manner to an online dictionary for language learners, the OBKD provides students with direct access to granular courseware resources aligned to each particular topic and sub-topic on their course. The related dissertation variously presents a review of the related research literature, an investigation of the students' current expectations of online resources, an educational rationale supporting the development of the OBKD, key design and functionality considerations suggested by researchers and student groups, the voluntary usage patterns of hundreds of students of the OBKD, and related insights into the extent and nature of Irish students' learning of mathematics. These insights are explored in the context of lIIeris's three dimensions of learning and competence development - content, incentive and environment. The study reveals students' willingness to repeatedly engage in voluntary self-regulated learning by using the OBKD outside the classroom to address gaps or problem areas in their mathematics learning. It evaluates the key technical and social factors underpinning the OBKD's usage and non-usage patterns and outlines how the OBKD and its constituent resources could be further enhanced. The timing of the study coincides with Ireland's implementation of a new mathematics curriculum called Project Maths. This was introduced in an effort to address Ireland's stUdents' recent declining performance in mathematics. Given the comparability of many mathematics curricula, assessment systems, and related student attainment problems! the findings from this research study may also have wider application.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available