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Detecting errors during the construction of mathematical formulas in a spreadsheet environment: An empirical study involving novice users

Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2017    |    PP. 1-17    |PDF (519 K)|    Pub. Date: February 12, 2017
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Author(s)
Konstantinos Lavidas, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Greece 26500
Vasilis Komis, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Greece 26500
Iro Voulgari, Department of Early Childhood Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece 10680

Abstract
In this study we examine the familiarization of students with the basic functions for formula insertion in a general purpose spreadsheet software. Two teaching interventions and two respective follow-up tests were conducted to 124 students of Educational Sciences, with little prior experience in the use of spreadsheets. Through the data collected (test results, registration forms for the students to record any difficulties they had during the tests, video captures of the interactions of the students with the software during the tests) the errors the students made and also any attempts to correct these errors were identified. Our findings indicated that the software error messages and the unexpected results were the main events that prompted the students to recognize their errors.

Keywords
Enter formula; error detection and correction; feedback; learning process; Spreadsheets; mathematical formulas

Cite this paper
Konstantinos Lavidas, Vasilis Komis, Iro Voulgari, Detecting errors during the construction of mathematical formulas in a spreadsheet environment: An empirical study involving novice users, SCIREA Journal of Education. Vol. 2 , No. 1 , 2017 , pp. 1 - 17 .

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