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Record ID: 280
Type: Poster Presentation (in-person)
Advisor: Heidi Kloos
Abstract: Children from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods have remarkably low math competency scores. Consequently, external intervention is necessary in order to ensure that their fundamental math proficiency is on par with that of students in more economically-advantaged communities. This study utilizes solution-based research to examine a program that uses two types of software designed to encourage children to exert more control over their educational experiences in order to better stimulate cognitive engagement, hence improving their academic performance. We seek to answer one research question considering available data: was the math instruction software (math-instruction software; MIS) or math-practice software (math-practice software; MPS) better for showing cognitive engagement and choice? Obtaining a conclusion allows for the cultivation of stability in a testing population where it is often deficient, by eliminating researcher bias and considering participant interest and autonomy in education to ascertain valuable insights pertinent to math-learning that can be generally applied. Participants spent an average 18.50 minutes (SD = 5.79) out of a 40-minute session engaged and on-task. Choice of software was not significantly correlated with the participants' degree of learning, though children were twice as likely to use MPS than MIS, spending more than half of their total time on the software (M = 0.61, SD = 0.21). MPS requires more interactivity and engagement from the user, and selecting it as opposed to MIS functions as an indicator of greater engagement. This indicates that the MPS was the software that best encouraged cognitive engagement and choice.