An Investigation into the Usability of Scientific Calculators by Degree and NCE Science Students

*Adenodi R. A. and Ogunmola E. A.

 

Physics Department, Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo,

 

Abstract

Scientific calculator is a hand-held computer technology useful for performing mathematical procedures and relevant for the development of manipulative skills essential for understanding mathematics and related subjects at all levels. Would-be science teachers are supposed to be able to use all its functions well as part of their developmental training to become full-fledged teachers. This study investigates the levels of usage of the functions of scientific calculators by students in NCE and Degree programmes. A 50-item 5-point likert scale questionnaire structured for the study was employed in elicit information from the students on the levels of usage of entry and correction keys, arithmetic functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions and angular unit, permutation and combination functions, N-base functions,scientific constants and metric conversion, statistical functions, integration and differentiation, and matrices functions. Descriptive and inferential statistics were adopted in the analysis of the data and the result reveals that the levels of usage of all functions assessed are above the cut-off score of 3.00, with minimum and maximum levels of usage of 3.02 in integration and differentiation and 3.92 in arithmetic functions respectively. The result further reveals there is no significant difference between the levels of usage by NCE and Degree students, and by male and female students. The study recommends that further study should include the determination of level of usage of graphics calculator.