American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2016, 4(18), 1249-1256
DOI: 10.12691/education-4-18-2
Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Training on Computational Fluency and Working Memory on Students’ Achievement and Retention in Algebra

Jennifer O. Parcutilo1, and Charita A. Luna1

1University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, Philippines

Pub. Date: November 28, 2016

Cite this paper:
Jennifer O. Parcutilo and Charita A. Luna. The Effects of Training on Computational Fluency and Working Memory on Students’ Achievement and Retention in Algebra. American Journal of Educational Research. 2016; 4(18):1249-1256. doi: 10.12691/education-4-18-2

Abstract

Many students, despite a good understanding of mathematical concepts, are hindered by simple calculations. Recent cognitive researches claimed that working memory which is the limited capacity system of the brain that allows simultaneous storage and processing of temporary information may be improved through trainings and, consequently, improved mathematics performance. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the dual task training on computational fluency with a load of working memory task compared to the traditional basic mathematics drill on the students’ achievement and retention in high school algebra. This research made use of two randomly chosen intact groups of fourth year high school students who were given both pretest and posttest using three validated instruments. A 3-week follow-up test was administered to assess algebra retention. This study found that the students who received the dual task training have significantly higher gains in their computational fluency and working memory ability. However, both groups were comparable in terms of their algebra achievement and retention after the 6-week training. The computational fluency was also found to be a predictor of the students’ achievement and retention in algebra. Thus, the working memory training has no direct effect on the students’ algebra achievement but mediated the effect of computational fluency. A longer and uninterrupted experimental period is recommended for further studies with a focus on binary number tasks as this was found to predict computational fluency.

Keywords:
working memory computational fluency training

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