Learning Objects To Enhance Students’ Conceptual Understanding Of Probability

Gossett, Roger and Haynes, Richard (2005) Learning Objects To Enhance Students’ Conceptual Understanding Of Probability. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 3 (1). pp. 79-83. ISSN 1740-5106


This paper reports the quantitative findings from the development and evaluation of a series of learning objects (LOs) the design of which was based upon the results of a previously reported pilot study (Gossett, 2003). A series of five LOs were developed with the intention of clarifying students’ conceptual understanding of the fundamental mathematical concepts that underpin the concept of probability. These LOs have the titles: ‘fractions’, ‘decimals’, ‘percentages’, ‘pie charts’ and ‘probability’. The first three provide the opportunity for students to explore the topics interactively and hence, come to a deeper understanding of the underpinning concepts. The fourth LO, ‘pie charts’, was developed with the aim of integrating the mathematical concepts of fractions, decimals and percentages in such a way as to permit their interactive exploration outside the field of probability. In this way users obtain practice of manipulation and interconversion of the kind required when dealing with probability. The final LO, ‘probability’, provides an opportunity to use the knowledge gained from the preceding four LOs to investigate, calculate and express probability in a variety of forms.

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