Probability concepts in combinations and permutations are difficult to grasp, especially when students are taught by formal mathematical presentation without having gone through sufficient real-life situations. Besides, some of the common textbook problems are not interesting to students, being more of math teasers rather than based on real-life situations.
In this study we tested our newly invented real-life probability problems involving permutations and combinations, and simple problems requiring obtaining the probabilities of events by common sense. Personal relevance, sport situations, and games are the main features of these new problems. The participants were four classes of highschool students in a rural setting. One class served as the control, with the traditional problem unit (TU). The other three classes were given different units on non traditional word problems (NTU), sport problems (SU), and game problems (GU). The results demonstrated that all units enhanced students’ learning. however students’ learning by NTU outperformed those in the other classes. GU and SU were the less successful ones in enhancing students’ achievement. The students showed positive attitude toward learning through authentic problems. Some unexpected results, especially from sport and game problems, are discussed.
|Keywords:||Students’ Achievement, Permutations and Combinations, Word Problem, Probabilistic Game, Probability, Sport Problem, Experimental Research, Inquiry|
Doctoral Student, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Ratchathewi, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Part-time Lecturer, Institute for Innovative Learning, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation and Development of Learnign Process, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
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