Background and Objectives: Since the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an efficient, well-accepted, learner-centered method in which the learner is active in the whole process of teaching and learning, it is a suitable method for teaching mathematical concepts. Nevertheless, the researchers have pointed out that the implementation of the PBL method in the traditional way faces serious limitations, such as shortage of financial resources, lack of time, and skilled educators. Therefore, implementing this method to benefit from the existing facilities in the electronic space including writing tools, access to shared resources, discussion and exchange of ideas among students, and sharing opinions and ideas is an undeniable necessity. The main purpose of the present study is designing a new software program based on problem-based learning (named as Facilitator Software) and investigating the effect of this software on the mathematical performance of third-grade high school students. The Facilitator Software was designed and implemented by consultation with a team of educational and mathematical technology experts to learn some of the mathematics topics of third-grade high school. This software provides an appropriate method for teaching mathematical concepts in electronic environments (e-environments) which results in increasing the students' activity in mathematics, saving time and educational expenses and providing an opportunity to take ongoing written examinations for students and online self-assessment in e-environments.
Methods: The study was conducted by a random sampling method based on the pretest-posttest with a control group. As a result, two researcher-made mathematics pre-test and post-test were devised in the form of eight questions, each of which had 20 marks, from mathematics textbook of the third grade high school. Data collection was done using a teacher-made achievement test, with validity and reliability considerations. The content validity of the researcher-made mathematics tests was examined and verified by the Lawshe method. In addition, to evaluate the reliability of the mathematics tests, the split-half method was used. For this purpose, statistical software was used to examine and measure the reliability, based on the split-half reliability coefficient and, finally, for the mathematics tests, reliability was found to be 0.78. Participants in this study were 65 male and female students in the third-grade of two public high schools in Tehran. Based on simple random sampling, the Cochran formula, 32 students were selected as the experimental group and 31 students were chosen as the control group from one high school and in the same way, 33 students were selected as the experimental group and 30 students were chosen as the control group from another high school. The traditional method was used in the experimental groups and in the control groups the Facilitator Software was used to teach mathematical concepts. The data were then collected through mathematical tests and analyzed by exerting analysis of variance and post hoc tests.
Findings: The results showed that there is a significant difference between the average scores of the control groups and those of the experimental groups in their post-test results. The average scores of the post-test for the experimental groups were higher than those of the post-test for the two control groups.
Conclusion: On the whole, the findings showed that the idea of designing and using the Facilitator Foftware with emphasis on BPL in teaching mathematics has been successful and this software had a positive effect on the mathematical performance of the third grade high school students.
©2021 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.