Brock University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4789-4798
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
The area of financial mathematics is often a difficult topic for many students to master with failure rates in introductory Finance courses often significantly greater than in other Business courses. Like many mathematically based subjects, students frequently find self study to be difficult, and classroom instruction is often critical for success. The traditional pedagogical method is one where the instructor “works out” or proves a formula or application in handwritten steps while simultaneously describing the process orally – the “chalk and talk” approach. Although the traditional approach appears relatively simple, the learning modalities engaged are actually complex, involving auditory, visual and even a form of kinaesthetic learning. The longstanding disadvantage of this approach is that course participants may find it difficult to reconstruct nuances from written notes at a later date. This is particularly the case for international students whose English language proficiency may be somewhat weak. The advent of tablet PC’s and electronic ink combined with video screen capture (VSC) software however, allows for the easy and cost effective recording of both visual and auditory components of the development of a mathematical concept with very simple technological requirements. Course participants can then be provided with a concise and richer form of e-learning objects on course websites for review, than simply notes or Power Point slides. In addition to providing an oral exposition in real time, VSC modules allow for the stopping and starting at any point, providing the ability to engage the material at a speed and time convenient to the student. In this way VSC modules provide a benefit that can surpass that of classroom instruction. Indeed a number of recent studies have indicated that learning modules created with VSC and tablet PC technology can be of significant aid in cognition (Folkstad and De Miranda, 2002 and Bonnintgon et al., 2007), and particularly for mathematically based material (Aminifar et al., 2007). Similar benefits have been noted in the use of FlashTM videos for homework solutions (Grinder, 2008).
The use and effectiveness of VSC modules gives rise to several pedagogical research questions however, which the current study attempts to address. In particular we surveyed approximately 110 MBA students enrolled in a 13 week introductory Corporate Finance course, with respect to their use and perceptions of VSC modules, along with their ultimate course performance. In particular we examined the following hypotheses: Hypothesis 1 VSC modules are of value in learning complex financial concepts and the use of VSC modules results in a significant increase in course performance; Hypothesis 2: The use of VSC modules can substitute for face-to-face classroom instruction in some instances; Hypothesis 3: The use of VSC modules is of significant value to international students whose English language proficiency may be relatively weak; Hypothesis 4: The effectiveness of VSC modules for a student is moderated based upon their primary and secondary identified intelligence or learning style as defined by Gardner (1983). Our study provides empirical evidence regarding the perceived and actual effectiveness of VSC modules as a teaching tool for mathematically based material, and the relationship of their effectiveness to an individual’s predominant learning style.
Video Screen Capture, learning styles, financial mathematics.