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Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 254–268 | Cite as

Students’ difficulties in operating a graphics calculator

  • Michael Mitchelmore
  • Michael Cavanagh
Articles

Abstract

We investigated how students interpret linear and quadratic graphs on a graphics calculator screen. Clinical interviews were conducted with 25 Grade 10–11 students as they used graphics calculators to study graphs of straight lines and parabolas. Student errors were attributable to four main causes: a tendency to accept the graphic image uncritically, without attempting to relate it to other symbolic or numerical information; a poor understanding of the concept of scale; an inadequate grasp of accuracy and approximation; and a limited grasp of the processes used by the calculator to display graphs. Implications for teaching are discussed.

Keywords

Mathematic Teacher Mathematic Education Research Window Setting Tick Mark Pixel Grouping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Mitchelmore
    • 1
  • Michael Cavanagh
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Educational StudiesMacquarie University

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