Learning Management System Use to Increase Mathematics Knowledge and Skills in Puerto Rico

Learning Management System Use to Increase Mathematics Knowledge and Skills in Puerto Rico

Angel M. Ojeda-Castro (Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, Puerto Rico), Philip Murray-Finley (Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, Puerto Rico) and José Sánchez-Villafañe (Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, Puerto Rico)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJTHI.2017040106
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the results of a mathematics comprehensive exam of two first-year university mathematics groups in Puerto Rico and measure the benefits and effectiveness of a learning management system (LMS) in math teaching and learning. The experimental group engaged in the use of a LMS and traditional teaching methods, while the control group was only engaged in traditional teaching methods. The population of the study was comprised of 579 first-year university students. The control groups included 287 participants, and the experimental group included 292 participants. The experimental group entered the university with significantly less mathematical knowledge (18% or less), and as such, had to learn more content (55% more). The learning outcomes of both courses expected students to acquire mathematical knowledge. The study revealed that the students who engaged in the use of the LMS in their teaching and learning methods, obtained significantly greater achievement of mathematical knowledge than the students who soley received traditional instruction.
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Literature Review

When comparing the United States mainland and Puerto Rico with other nations, the achievement gap in many areas are cited in the research. However, achievement in mathematics is notable lower than other disciplines. Although the United States scores have made small gains, the US ranking in mathematics is 32nd in the world among the most competitive nations, and only 6% of students attained an advanced level in math (Hanyshek, Pertson, and Woesmann, 2012). This lack of proficiency in math is widespread throughout the US. However, math skills deficiencies are significantly lower in Puerto Rican students. This is exemplified in the mean score of college-bound Puerto Rican students who took the SAT in 2010-2011, which was only 452, as compared to the mean score of all students, which was 514 (US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). Additionally, the 2013 math scores for grades 4, 8, and 12 have gone virtually unchanged for the last few years, with Puerto Rican students still lagging behind the general population. Note however, that the 2011-2012 SAT scores actually declined six points to for all students who took the test (US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014). More alarming is that Puerto Rican students who took the SAT during this time frame scored an average of 452, while white students scored 536. This illustrates the problem that Puerto Rican students still score far below the general population, and their white counterparts who take the SAT (US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014).

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