A study of students' interpretations of geometric language.
Nickerson, Brenda J.
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This study examines college students’ comprehension of formal geometric language as opposed to general informal language. The research consisted of a set of assessments in which students needed to draw a compilation of geometric figures, given in the two separate language formats. The study also examined the aspect of whether students were more successful in their drawings when given instructions in oral form as opposed to instructions in written form. Assessments were given on two separate occasions, each consisting of two drawings. The first assessment included one drawing describing figure 1 given with informal language and oral instructions. The second drawing was of figure 2 with descriptions given in informal language and written instructions. The second set of assessments included figure 1 with formal language and written instructions, while figure 2 was described with formal language and oral instructions. The drawings were scored with a rubric that analyzed the accuracy of the figures in regards to size, shape, placement, and understanding of geometric vocabulary. The overall results indicated students draw a more accurate figure using informal language and written instructions. The results also indicated that students are not comfortable with geometric language and would benefit from more instruction in that discipline.
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