Original Research

Aligning mathematics with tutoring platform topics

Bertram Haskins, Reinhardt A. Botha
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 13, No 1 | a428 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v13i1.428 | © 2017 Bertram Haskins, Reinhardt A. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2017 | Published: 08 August 2017

About the author(s)

Bertram Haskins, Department of Information Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Reinhardt A. Botha, Department of Information Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Dr Math was a mobile mathematics tutoring service, used by school learners across South Africa. The wealth of historic data available, with regard to the conversations between tutors and learners, may contain valuable insights as to which mathematics topics are most frequently encountered on the Dr Math service. This alignment may serve as an indicator of the utility of an online tutorial service as a reflection of the curriculum covered by learners, and as an extra avenue of support. This study makes use of automated means to rank the topics discussed on the Dr Math service and to align them with the topics encountered in the South African National Senior Certificate final examinations. The study finds that there is a close alignment with regard to the observations of the Department of Basic Education on factors influencing the performance of the learners. The topics most frequently discussed on the Dr Math service also align closely with the topics with which the learners have most difficulty in their final exams.

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