Student achievement and web-based mathematical instruction versus traditional textbook instruction

PLATO, a Web-based instructional program, is used to increase student mathematic achievement in preparation for the California High School Exit Exam. This quantitative study examined the effects PLATO had on high school students' mathematics achievement. The study used two groups of students; one used PLATO and the other did not. The students were pre-tested and post-tested on each section of the mathematics component of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). The four MAP sections used in this study were: Number Sense, Algebra and Functions, Measurement, and Geometry. The study analyzed the correlation between the time students spent on PLATO and the change in their MAP scores. At-test was also conducted to compare the difference in MAP scores between the PLATO-using and non-PLATO-using students. The results showed that the correlation between the total amount of time students spend on PLATO and the overall change in their MAP scores was statistically significant (r = .368, p = .027). The time students spent on the Algebra and Function section of PLATO also had a positive correlation to their Algebra and Function MAP score (r = .399, p = .026). Such a correlation was not found in the other three sections of the MAP assessment. The mean difference between the change in MAP scores ofthe PLATO and non-PLATO groups was 3.34, which was not statistically significant (t = 1.542, p = .128). KEYWORDS: computers, math instruction, PLATO, supplemental, technology, Web-based instruction