Conference Proceedings

CAS or Pen-and-paper: Factors that Influence Students' Choices

S Cameron, L BALL, M Marshman (ed.), V Geiger (ed.), A Bennison (ed.)

MERGA | Published : 2015


This paper reports on a study of choices about the use of a computer algebra system (CAS) or pen-and-paper (p&p) by a class of seven Year 11 Mathematical Methods (CAS) students as they completed a calculus worksheet. Factors that influenced students’ choices are highlighted by comparing and contrasting the use of CAS and p&p between students. Teacher expectation of students’ use of CAS and p&p reveals that, even in a small class, the students’ use of CAS and p&p sometimes differed from what was expected. The analysis here indicates that there are a variety of factors that influence students’ decisions, including speed of calculation and accuracy of p&p work.