MASTER RESEARCH PROPOSAL Prepared by Yeo Lian Ming 1. Title : Mathematics Web-Based Learning For Malaysian Secondary Schools In Geometry 2. Chapter 1 Introduction Background Of The Problem Learning of geometry is formally introduced in the Malaysian primary mathematics curriculum. The emphasis in geometry increases as students progress to secondary education, where about forty percent of the sixty topics in the five-year secondary mathematics curriculum comprises geometry content (Malaysian Ministry of Education, 1998).

It is paramount that students at the beginning level of secondary education are provided with logical reasoning skills to build on subsequently more rigorous experiences of formal geometry. The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM,2000), and other important literature in the area of mathematics education call for emphasis in geometry at all levels. Geometry is a unifying theme to the entire mathematics curriculum and as such is a rich source of visualization for arithmetical, algebraic , and statistical concepts.

For example, geometric regions and shapes are useful for development work with the meaning of fractional numbers, equivalent fractions, ordering of fractions, and computing of fractions (Sanders, 1998, p. 20). However, geometric concepts are often neglected in elementary and middle level schools in favour of teaching computational skills ( Huetinck & Munshin, 2004 ; Noraini Idris, 2006 ).

Various reasons related to mathematical system itself, curricular materials, instructional practice, and cognitive development have been proposed to explain students’ the difficulties with geometry. In many Malaysian schools, the teaching and learning of mathematics has been reported to be too teacher centred and that the students are not given enough opportunities to develop their own thinking (Malaysian Ministry of Education, 2001). This situation invariably results in students becoming passive receivers of information, which in many cases do not results in conceptual understanding.

Many students are not able to comprehend what their mathematics teachers teach especially on the topic of geometry because mathematics content is taught with the intention of finishing the syllabus and preparing for examinations. Little regard is given to how well the students understand geometrical concepts. On the topic of geometry, students encounter difficulties in applying what they have learnt due to spatial inability and visualization problems. In secondary school, mathematics teacher’s biggest challenge is to find a way how to get students’ interest to learn geometry.

Through web-based learning, teacher can give students a new and stimulating way to learn and practice mathematics when and where it is suitable for them. The use of computers in education can be utilized as a new technological support for the visualization of abstract concepts through computer-generated virtual representations, allowing for the generation of mental model of the geometrical concepts. Moreover, the use of the World Wide Web as an educational delivery medium has pushed the limits of instructional design.

It is becoming commonplace for students to register for programs, access course materials, communicate and submit assignments, and retrieve grades electronically. Classrooms and conference facilities in schools around the world are web-friendly, with many offering video-conferencing or full virtual classroom facilities. But the real question is this: does web-technology help or hinder learning? The best answer seems to be that it depends on the situation. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it hinders.

On the plus side, the Internet has moved management education ahead by enabling rapid, easy access to education and information, shared workspace tools for collaboration, instant communication and messaging, and online help. On the negative side, the quality of learning, more often than not, fails to meet expectations. Statement Of The Problem Teaching and learning process in mathematics particularly in the topic of geometry is not an easy task. Students tend to fail in developing an adequate understanding of the concepts, reasoning, and problem solving skills.

The lack of understanding in learning geometry often cause discouragement among the students, which invariably will leads to poor performance in public examination. A number of factors have been put forward to explain why learning geometry is difficult due to geometry language, visualization abilities, and ineffective instruction. Poor reasoning skills are also another area of concern among secondary school students. Many are unable to extract necessary information from given data and many more are unable to interpret answers and make conclusions.

Traditional approaches in learning geometry emphasized more on how much the students can remember and less on how well the students can perform the process of problem solving that includes higher order mathematical thinking skills and reasoning. Thus learning becomes forced and creates anxiety among students and seldom brings satisfaction to the students. Objectives Of The Study This study will explore the ICT ability such as the web-based instructional objects as learning visual aids for the teaching and learning process in Geometry.

This skill will enhance the teaching and learning process in delivering the topics in Geometry. The study will address some of the primary issues that should be included in the curriculum design process to develop a more interesting learning experience that truly engages the students from a cognitive perspective, while encouraging or fostering a greater accomplishment in the student's learning development particularly the visualization ability and problem solving skills.

Scope Of The Study This study focuses on the curriculum design of web-based instructional objects for the teaching-learning process that involves hands-on ability with emphasis on experiential model. From the experiential perspective, the goal is to provide an opportunity or event that will engage or involve the student in the active process of learning. Experiential web-based learning can occur when the following conditions are met during the design phase: a )the appropriate level of cognitive and/or affective domain is reached, causing the student to do much more than simply receive the learning or knowledge, ( b )the relationship between the type of knowledge establishes an implied level of student involvement, ( c )the outcomes are evaluated with respect to the domain (cognitive and/or affective) in terms of the type of knowledge. Once these steps are included during the design process, rather than as an afterthought, web based learning will become richer, and provide the student an authentic learning event.

Significance Of The Study In designing instructional objects, emphasis should be placed on designs that are conducive to meaningful learning rather than designs that aim merely at presentation of objects. This study will examine the integration of technology, content, pedagogy and online delivery as it affects the student learning experience. The process and model for creating interactive-rich learning environments is presented to improve their course development practices and online classroom quality. . Chapter 2 Literature Review The application of instructional objects in the teaching and learning of mathematics helped the students to understand the subject matter more clearly through novel presentation; making the learning of mathematics interesting and fun as well as easier to understand (Clarke ; Gronn, 2004). The wise use of web-based technology can help to break the boundaries between classroom and workplace, between theory and practice, and between the roles of instructor and learner.

A second generation approach carefully designed and extended, can lead to many win-win solutions that can promote meaningful action-based learning that combines the best in technical and soft skills education in both classroom and workplace settings (Morgan, G. ; Adams, J. , 2009). However, there was a significant interaction effect between delivery model and prior web experience. This indicates that for some learners, certain delivery models may be more ffective for web-based environments (Ahern, T. ; Martindale, T. , 2001). The results of the recent study showed that the learners who used the hybrid web based learning model displayed a better understanding of the necessary concepts and were able to apply their learning experiences to real life contexts better than the learners who were exposed to the traditional teaching method only (Naidoo, N. ; Naidoo, R. , 2006).

With the current bodies of research and knowledge on development both of the learner, and the instructor, there is a need now more than ever to re-examine and develop a new model for instructional design. It may be necessary then, to abandon, or perhaps significantly modify, the traditional instructional design models that were grounded in behavioral terms in favor of a model that is more experiential (Kolb, 1984). 4. Chapter 3 Research Methodology Research Design ; Procedure

Through the use of programs that can be downloaded from the internet such as Moodle an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), an interactive course materials containing online activities such as self assessments, animations, and simulations on the topics in geometry can be produced to develop an e-learning websites to encourage self-learning and ability to seek for knowledge from various sources. These can improve learning and are often more enjoyable , flexible learning time and meaningful for students. Operational Framework

This study will adopt quasi-experimental design which consists of two groups of students. One treatment group will undergo the lessons of geometry using web-based learning while the other control group will be taught by traditional approach. I will conduct interviews, surveys and questionnaires to obtain empirical information on this research. Please refer to the attached Gantt chart. Assumptions ; Limitations This study will only use one instructional module entitled Geometry as the treatment period, and an expanded study should encompass the entire Mathematics subject.

There are many other delivery models to examine in terms of effectiveness for web-based learning. Studies should be conducted using these models in combination. It would also be interesting to examine participant variables (age, gender, prior experience, etc. ) and the effectiveness of various delivery models. Research Planning ; Schedule Preparation Phase : Study the content of geometry. A literature review of the web-based learning by previous research endeavours will be conducted to complete and narrow down the orientation I will take for the following steps of my research.

Analysis Phase : Observe a group of students to identify problems in teaching-learning the topic of geometry and analyze the types of instructional object activities in the web-based learning. Design Phase : Select a few subtopics of geometry as the research target. Employ experiential model to produce interactive course materials for geometry which containing online activities by using Moodle an Open Source Course Management System. Application Phase : Test the instructional objects on the sample group to collect data in terms of web-based learning quality, analyze the results and draw conclusions.

Evaluation Phase : Refining and enhancing the interactive course material of geometry in the web-based learning. 5. Chapter 4 Expected Findings and Summary The rapid expansion of web-based learning necessitates examining its effectiveness because instruction is more than simply displaying information. Instruction requires an integrated fit that considers the content, the current state of the student and the delivery model to achieve success.

The most important long-term outcome of web-based learning may be the students's increased capabilities to learn more easily and effectively in the future, both because of the knowledge and skill they have acquired and because they have mastered learning processes. That implies that a major role in teaching is to create powerful learners. In conclusion, I hope that the students can apply their knowledge of geometry to solve the mathematical problems as well as everyday problems they face in daily life through this web-based learning.

It is paramount that students at the beginning level of secondary education are provided with logical reasoning skills to build on subsequently more rigorous experiences of formal geometry. The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM,2000), and other important literature in the area of mathematics education call for emphasis in geometry at all levels. Geometry is a unifying theme to the entire mathematics curriculum and as such is a rich source of visualization for arithmetical, algebraic , and statistical concepts.

For example, geometric regions and shapes are useful for development work with the meaning of fractional numbers, equivalent fractions, ordering of fractions, and computing of fractions (Sanders, 1998, p. 20). However, geometric concepts are often neglected in elementary and middle level schools in favour of teaching computational skills ( Huetinck & Munshin, 2004 ; Noraini Idris, 2006 ).

Various reasons related to mathematical system itself, curricular materials, instructional practice, and cognitive development have been proposed to explain students’ the difficulties with geometry. In many Malaysian schools, the teaching and learning of mathematics has been reported to be too teacher centred and that the students are not given enough opportunities to develop their own thinking (Malaysian Ministry of Education, 2001). This situation invariably results in students becoming passive receivers of information, which in many cases do not results in conceptual understanding.

Many students are not able to comprehend what their mathematics teachers teach especially on the topic of geometry because mathematics content is taught with the intention of finishing the syllabus and preparing for examinations. Little regard is given to how well the students understand geometrical concepts. On the topic of geometry, students encounter difficulties in applying what they have learnt due to spatial inability and visualization problems. In secondary school, mathematics teacher’s biggest challenge is to find a way how to get students’ interest to learn geometry.

Through web-based learning, teacher can give students a new and stimulating way to learn and practice mathematics when and where it is suitable for them. The use of computers in education can be utilized as a new technological support for the visualization of abstract concepts through computer-generated virtual representations, allowing for the generation of mental model of the geometrical concepts. Moreover, the use of the World Wide Web as an educational delivery medium has pushed the limits of instructional design.

It is becoming commonplace for students to register for programs, access course materials, communicate and submit assignments, and retrieve grades electronically. Classrooms and conference facilities in schools around the world are web-friendly, with many offering video-conferencing or full virtual classroom facilities. But the real question is this: does web-technology help or hinder learning? The best answer seems to be that it depends on the situation. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it hinders.

On the plus side, the Internet has moved management education ahead by enabling rapid, easy access to education and information, shared workspace tools for collaboration, instant communication and messaging, and online help. On the negative side, the quality of learning, more often than not, fails to meet expectations. Statement Of The Problem Teaching and learning process in mathematics particularly in the topic of geometry is not an easy task. Students tend to fail in developing an adequate understanding of the concepts, reasoning, and problem solving skills.

The lack of understanding in learning geometry often cause discouragement among the students, which invariably will leads to poor performance in public examination. A number of factors have been put forward to explain why learning geometry is difficult due to geometry language, visualization abilities, and ineffective instruction. Poor reasoning skills are also another area of concern among secondary school students. Many are unable to extract necessary information from given data and many more are unable to interpret answers and make conclusions.

Traditional approaches in learning geometry emphasized more on how much the students can remember and less on how well the students can perform the process of problem solving that includes higher order mathematical thinking skills and reasoning. Thus learning becomes forced and creates anxiety among students and seldom brings satisfaction to the students. Objectives Of The Study This study will explore the ICT ability such as the web-based instructional objects as learning visual aids for the teaching and learning process in Geometry.

This skill will enhance the teaching and learning process in delivering the topics in Geometry. The study will address some of the primary issues that should be included in the curriculum design process to develop a more interesting learning experience that truly engages the students from a cognitive perspective, while encouraging or fostering a greater accomplishment in the student's learning development particularly the visualization ability and problem solving skills.

Scope Of The Study This study focuses on the curriculum design of web-based instructional objects for the teaching-learning process that involves hands-on ability with emphasis on experiential model. From the experiential perspective, the goal is to provide an opportunity or event that will engage or involve the student in the active process of learning. Experiential web-based learning can occur when the following conditions are met during the design phase: a )the appropriate level of cognitive and/or affective domain is reached, causing the student to do much more than simply receive the learning or knowledge, ( b )the relationship between the type of knowledge establishes an implied level of student involvement, ( c )the outcomes are evaluated with respect to the domain (cognitive and/or affective) in terms of the type of knowledge. Once these steps are included during the design process, rather than as an afterthought, web based learning will become richer, and provide the student an authentic learning event.

Significance Of The Study In designing instructional objects, emphasis should be placed on designs that are conducive to meaningful learning rather than designs that aim merely at presentation of objects. This study will examine the integration of technology, content, pedagogy and online delivery as it affects the student learning experience. The process and model for creating interactive-rich learning environments is presented to improve their course development practices and online classroom quality. . Chapter 2 Literature Review The application of instructional objects in the teaching and learning of mathematics helped the students to understand the subject matter more clearly through novel presentation; making the learning of mathematics interesting and fun as well as easier to understand (Clarke ; Gronn, 2004). The wise use of web-based technology can help to break the boundaries between classroom and workplace, between theory and practice, and between the roles of instructor and learner.

A second generation approach carefully designed and extended, can lead to many win-win solutions that can promote meaningful action-based learning that combines the best in technical and soft skills education in both classroom and workplace settings (Morgan, G. ; Adams, J. , 2009). However, there was a significant interaction effect between delivery model and prior web experience. This indicates that for some learners, certain delivery models may be more ffective for web-based environments (Ahern, T. ; Martindale, T. , 2001). The results of the recent study showed that the learners who used the hybrid web based learning model displayed a better understanding of the necessary concepts and were able to apply their learning experiences to real life contexts better than the learners who were exposed to the traditional teaching method only (Naidoo, N. ; Naidoo, R. , 2006).

With the current bodies of research and knowledge on development both of the learner, and the instructor, there is a need now more than ever to re-examine and develop a new model for instructional design. It may be necessary then, to abandon, or perhaps significantly modify, the traditional instructional design models that were grounded in behavioral terms in favor of a model that is more experiential (Kolb, 1984). 4. Chapter 3 Research Methodology Research Design ; Procedure

Through the use of programs that can be downloaded from the internet such as Moodle an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), an interactive course materials containing online activities such as self assessments, animations, and simulations on the topics in geometry can be produced to develop an e-learning websites to encourage self-learning and ability to seek for knowledge from various sources. These can improve learning and are often more enjoyable , flexible learning time and meaningful for students. Operational Framework

This study will adopt quasi-experimental design which consists of two groups of students. One treatment group will undergo the lessons of geometry using web-based learning while the other control group will be taught by traditional approach. I will conduct interviews, surveys and questionnaires to obtain empirical information on this research. Please refer to the attached Gantt chart. Assumptions ; Limitations This study will only use one instructional module entitled Geometry as the treatment period, and an expanded study should encompass the entire Mathematics subject.

There are many other delivery models to examine in terms of effectiveness for web-based learning. Studies should be conducted using these models in combination. It would also be interesting to examine participant variables (age, gender, prior experience, etc. ) and the effectiveness of various delivery models. Research Planning ; Schedule Preparation Phase : Study the content of geometry. A literature review of the web-based learning by previous research endeavours will be conducted to complete and narrow down the orientation I will take for the following steps of my research.

Analysis Phase : Observe a group of students to identify problems in teaching-learning the topic of geometry and analyze the types of instructional object activities in the web-based learning. Design Phase : Select a few subtopics of geometry as the research target. Employ experiential model to produce interactive course materials for geometry which containing online activities by using Moodle an Open Source Course Management System. Application Phase : Test the instructional objects on the sample group to collect data in terms of web-based learning quality, analyze the results and draw conclusions.

Evaluation Phase : Refining and enhancing the interactive course material of geometry in the web-based learning. 5. Chapter 4 Expected Findings and Summary The rapid expansion of web-based learning necessitates examining its effectiveness because instruction is more than simply displaying information. Instruction requires an integrated fit that considers the content, the current state of the student and the delivery model to achieve success.

The most important long-term outcome of web-based learning may be the students's increased capabilities to learn more easily and effectively in the future, both because of the knowledge and skill they have acquired and because they have mastered learning processes. That implies that a major role in teaching is to create powerful learners. In conclusion, I hope that the students can apply their knowledge of geometry to solve the mathematical problems as well as everyday problems they face in daily life through this web-based learning.