Impact of Interactive Computer-Aided Instruction in Learning Trigonometry in a High School Precalculus Course

Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies in Instructional Design Leadership (DPS)

Committee Chair

Bora Pajo

Committee Member

Niccole Hyatt

Committee Member

Yi Yang


Trigonometry is a gateway course to higher level mathematics and science courses for students pursuing careers in STEM fields. Unfortunately, many students have found trigonometry to be difficult and trigonometry courses have consistently had high rates of failure (Daines, Troka, & Santiago, 2016; Demir, 2012; Moore, 2010; Samuels, 2010; Urrutia et al., 2019). Two reasons are commonly cited for difficulties in trigonometry: (1) the students’ inability to understand and fluidly move between multiple representations of trigonometric concepts (Marchi, 2012), and (2) the faculty’s challenge to teach a subject that is highly dependent on mental visual imagery (Kadunz & Yerushalmy, 2015). Despite the common difficulties experienced in teaching and learning trigonometry, research in this domain of mathematics is sparse. Current computer technology has the capability of addressing challenges in teaching and learning trigonometry. It allows multiple representations of trigonometric concepts to be illustrated side by side, as well as efficient construction of images needed to help students understand course concepts and to develop their mental visual imagery skills. Additionally, computer technology provides opportunities for students to actively engage in constructivist learning of new concepts while receiving specific and immediate feedback. This dissertation focuses on the impact of interactive computer-aided instruction in teaching and learning of trigonometry. This study hypothesizes that the use of interactive computer-aided instruction will have a positive impact on students’ mastery of trigonometry concepts as well as students’ perceptions of trigonometry. Findings should shed some light on the dynamics of teaching and learning trigonometry for 10th – 12th grade students.