Since the innovation of computers some 40 years ago and the
introduction of microcomputers in 1975, computers are
playing an active role in education processes and altering
the pattern of interaction between teacher and student in
the classroom. Computer assisted learning has been seen as
a revolution in education. In this research, the author has
studied the impact of using microcomputers on mathematical
education, particularly at the Hong Kong tertiary level, in
Two computer software packages have been developed on the
microcomputer. The consideration of the topic to be used in
the computer assisted learning was arrived at in earlier
surveys with students who thought that computers could give
very accurate solutions to calculations. The two software
packages, demonstrating on the spot the error that would be
incurred by the computer, have been used by the students.
They are both interactive and make use of the advantages of
the microcomputer's functions over other teaching media,
such as graphics facility and random number generator, to
draw to the students' attention awareness of errors that may
be obtained using computers in numerical solutions.
Much emphasis is put on the significance and effectiveness
of using computer packages in learning and teaching.
Measurements are based on questionnaires, conversations with
students, and tests on content material after the packages
have been used. Feedback and subjective opinion of using
computers in mathematical education have also been obtained
from both students and other teachers.
The research then attempts to examine the suitability of
applying computer assisted learning in Hong Kong education
sectors. Some studies on the comments made by students who
participated in the learning process are undertaken. The
successes and failures in terms of student accomplishment
and interest in the subject area as a result of using a
software package is described. Suggestions and
recommendations are given in the concluding chapter.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.