Impact on school assessment where use of graphic calculators is mandatory in a related public examination
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
This paper reports an inquiry into assessment items classed as 'extended pieces of work' in Applicable Mathematics, in Western Australia. The principal purpose was to identify opportunities for graphics calculator use in 'extended pieces' implemented in schools. Ownership of the technology is widespread because it is mandated for the Applicable Mathematics tertiary entrance examination, which students sit at the end of the Year 12 course. Twenty-one of the twenty-eight pieces that were collected allowed for calculator use and, frequently, choosing to use the technology would have advantaged students, for instance, in supporting conjecture. Practical applications that would not be feasible to solve without the technology were included. Regression analysis and the random number generator were utilized. Overall, availability of the technology has widened the scope of approaches in 'extended pieces of work' in potentially valuable ways. Issues are how conjectures were elicited and calls for 'black box' use of the calculator.