Doctor of Philosophy
School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
Fathurrohman, Maman, Creating and modifying mathematical learning resources and learning designs for use in developing countries, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong, 2014. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4059
The motivation for this study was the desire to take steps to reduce the digital divide between developing and developed countries. Huge differences exist between information and communication technology infrastructure and resources in advanced economies compared to those of developing countries. To facilitate economic development, improvements in information and communication technology use and quality of mathematics education, which contribute to country competitiveness, are considered essential.
The aim of this study was to identify ways to support the use of technology by mathematics teachers in developing countries. The Alexander and Hedberg evaluation of innovation model framed the study. The model involved the determination of teacher needs for ICT, evaluation at the design and development phases of innovation, teacher implementation of the tools and the institutionalisation of the innovation. Therefore the research approach involved several stages.
In the first stage, to determine needs, a review of recent surveys of ICT in developing countries was supplemented by a localised study of 119 Indonesian teachers’ awareness of ICT infrastructure, facilities, and resources. It was determined that teachers in developing countries are able to operate computers and other ICT-based tools, although ICT infrastructure, facilities and resources in their schools or area are generally poor. Empowering teachers to use their own ICT-based tools for teaching and learning was considered important. Through the localised study it was determined 93.3 percent of teachers wanted to be able to share other teachers learning designs, and complementing this, result of interview stated that internet has become source of learning resources for teachers. It was therefore determined one way to support teachers was through the development of tools to enable the mapping and sharing of learning designs and resources.
The second stage involved the design and development of a set of electronic mapping tools. One tool was to map learning resources (called GRMap) and a second tool was to map learning designs (called LDMap). The design and development of electronic mapping system was focused in Bojonegara Sub District, Indonesia, recognising that the tools developed were to a great extent context bound for use in developing countries. The tools were tested through case studies conducted with 13 mathematics teachers. Evaluation of the tools in Indonesia, suggested that the involved teachers were satisfied with the tools’ components. The teachers found the tools appropriate, given accessible ICT infrastructure and facilities, for use by mathematics teachers and further that these tools are appropriate for use by teachers for sharing mathematical learning resources and learning designs. Mathematics teachers agreed that the prospects for implementation and sustainability of the use of the tools in the long term were good. However the usability aspect of the tools was less satisfactory than other aspects. This initiated a third stage of work addressing the usability of the tools.
This final stage to ensure institutionalisation of the tools involved the demonstration of the usefulness of the tools in four contexts: guided hyperlearning; mapping of national curriculum; curriculum review; and, the creation of embedded mathematics learning support systems. With each refinement of the tools to improve functionality was also undertaken.
The first study with 115 university students, through conventional learning, unguided hyperlearning and guided hyperlearning, demonstrated that the mapping tools could be used to teach via guided hyperlearning as effectively, in terms of performance as conventional teaching. In the second demonstration of use the conceptual aspects for mapping and aligning resources and learning designs for the Indonesian national curriculum were identified. Subsequent demonstrations undertaken in a developed nation, Australia, were used to define additional developments and to identify potential future developments. The mapping tools were further refined and a Learning Design Form (LDForm) developed. This was used to capture learning design data that could be output to produce a Subject Information Sheet, and converted to create Learning Design Map (LDMap) that in turn could be input into a curriculum review. The analysis of multiple LDMaps formed the basis of a curriculum through use of an additional tool, Learning Design-based Curriculum Reviewer (LDCR) that produced summaries of graduate attributes and topics taught. Further exploring uses, an embedded learning support system was developed for students to access mapped and verified learning resources.
Finally addressing the needs of different institutions and users documentation was provided. To complete the process addressing the needs of developing nations the documentation available in both the Indonesian language, the native language of country which was the focus of this study, and English, the universal language used by many developing nations in the world.