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5A-02-P104 _Malaysia_

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					Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Teaching and Learning (ICTL 2009)
INTI University College, Malaysia




    TEACHING PRESERVICE TEACHERS’ MATHEMATICS
                USING NETMEETING

                      Ling Siew-Eng1, Lai Kim-Leong2 and Ling Siew-Ching3
                              1,3
                                  Universiti Teknologi MARA Sarawak, Malaysia
                         1
                          ( lingse@sarawak.uitm.edu.my; 3lingsc@sarawak.uitm.edu.my)
        2
          Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia (Batu Lintang Campus) Malaysia (kimleonglai@yahoo.com)




ABSTRACT

Most of the higher education institutions in Malaysia provide technology facilities such as wireless connection,
computer lab and liquid crystal display for their students and staff. NetMeeting is among the communication
softwares which may be used for teaching and learning and are available for free download. The study was
conducted to determine the pre-service teachers’ perception on using NetMeeting and to explore the strengths
and weaknesses of using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics utilizing the explanatory design of
mixed method. Two groups of 36 pre-service teachers were involved in the study. Census was used in the study.
Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected at the middle of April 2009. The quantitative data was
analyzed using SPSS whilst the qualitative data was analyzed using NVivo software. Results showed that
respondents perceived positively using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics. The participants also
highlighted some strengths and weaknesses using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics.



KEYWORDS

NetMeeting, Preservice teacher, Mathematics



INTRODUCTION

In this new millinium, the traditional lectures using chalk and whiteboard are still widely
used. The traditional mode of lectures started to evolve with the advancement of Information
and Communication Technology (ICT). Most of the schools and higher learning institutions
have already make use of this technology in teaching and learning process, among which the
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is one of the commonly used technologies in Malaysia
education system.

Most of the higher learning institutions in Malaysia provide technological facilities for their
preservice teachers and staff. Currently, internet and wireless connection are available in most
of the institutions. Educators today have wider range of ICT tools to choose from. In addition,
there are communication softwares which may be used for teaching and learning and are
available for free downloading such as Windows Messenger, Skype, Yahoo Messenger and
NetMeeting (Legutko, 2007). One of these technologies is the NetMeeting which is available
in Microsoft Window and is very convenient to download (Parcell & Giddens, 2002).




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NetMeeting was reported as an effective delivery tool, user friendly, convenient to download,
ease to use and install (Legutko, 2007; Parcell & Giddens, 2002; Wang, 2006). It is part of the
Windows 95, 98, 2000 and XP operating systems and is also compatible with Windows Vista.
There are several features such as audio and video conferencing, interactive whiteboard, file
transfer, program and application sharing, the self-view window, text chat, remote desktop
sharing, user control and save document tool (Farren, 2002; Parcell, 2002; Wang, 2006).

The availability of wireless connection in Malaysia Teachers’ Institute, Batu Lintang Campus
provides an opportunity for lecturers to utilize NetMeeting in teaching preservice teachers’
mathematics. With the advent of technology at Malaysia Teachers’ Institute, Batu Lintang
Campus, teaching mathematics using NetMeeting to replace the traditional whiteboard/
blackboard is being explored.


TEACHING AND LEARNING MATHEMATICS USING NETMEETING

There were two groups of preservice teacher selected in the initial program of ‘Teaching and
learning mathematics using NetMeeting’. The first group of preservice teacher was 20
preservice teachers from Program Ijazaj Sarjana Muda Pendidikan (PISMP). There were two
mathematics courses conducted under this program. The first mathematics course was Basic
Calculus which was conducted in semester June-November 2008 whilst the second
mathematics course, Linear Algebra was conducted in semester January – May 2009. Both of
the two courses met two times per week with 2 hours per meeting. The second group of
preservice teacher was 16 preservice teachers from Foundation of Bachelor of Education
(BEd.), Teaching English as Second Language (TESL) Link Programme. This course met
once a week for two hours. There was only one mathematics course (Numerical literacy II)
conducted using NetMeeting for this group of preservice teachers. This course was conducted
in semester January – May 2009. The lectures were conducted in the lecture room where
NetMeeting was used to replace the traditional whiteboard/blackboard. The courses were also
conducted where lecturer and preservice teachers were at different locations. Preservice
teachers would dial to lecturer IP address to start the NetMeeting. Lecturer would only start
the lecture via NetMeeting after all preservice teachers were connected through NetMeeting.
All participates were be able to see each other through the feature of video conferencing or
self-view window. Interactive whiteboard was used as a discussion board. Preservice teachers
were also encouraged to write on the same interactive whiteboard for discussion purpose.
Others software such as Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office
Powerpoint and fastStone Capture were used when needed. File transfer feature was used to
transfer notes to preservice teachers. Preservice teachers were able to save all discussion files
to their personal computer. Preservice teachers were also encouraged to discuss to each other
through chat feature.


PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The study was aimed to determine the preservice teachers’ perception of using NetMeeting in
teaching and learning mathematics and to explore its strengths and weaknesses.




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METHODOLOGY

The explanatory design of mixed method was utilized in this study. Two groups with total of
36 preservice teachers were involved in the study. There were three different mathematics
courses conducted using NetMeeting from June 2008 to April 2009.

The instrument used for collecting quantitative data was adapted from Levy (2002). The
instrument consisted of 20 items with 5-point Likert scale which was categorized into 5
components to measure participants’ perception on using NetMeeting in teaching and learning
mathematics. The second instrument comprised of structured questions where respondents
were asked to give their opinions on strengths and weaknesses of using NetMeeting in
teaching and learning mathematics. Census was used in both quantitative and qualitative
study. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS whilst the qualitative data was analyzed
using NVivo software.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The results were divided into two parts: perception on using NetMeeting and strengths and
weaknesses of using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics.

Perception on using NetMeeting in Teaching and Learning Mathematics

The quantitative instrument collected preservice teachers’ perception on using NetMeeting in
teaching and learning mathematics consisted of five components. Table 1 shows the first
component was ‘facilitating classroom interaction and activities’. Most of the respondents
(61.1%) strongly agreed that NetMeeting supported classroom interaction and activities.
36.1% of the respondents agreed and 2.8% of the respondents disagreed that NetMeeting
could support classroom interaction and activities. The grand mean of this component was
4.42 with the standard deviation of .66. This indicated that respondent perceived positively in
this component.

The second component was ‘educational impact’. According to Levy (2002), the ‘education
impact’ component included elements such as enjoy, interesting, motivation, grasp ideas and
concepts easily, better explanations, more vivid illustrations using NetMeeting, able to pay
more attention, save time in presenting information and enables lessons to move more quickly.
Most of the respondents strongly agreed (61.1%) that NetMeeting had a positive education
impact on their learning. 36.1% of the respondents agreed while 2.8% of the respondents were
undecided on whether NetMeeting had education impact. The mean for this component was
4.48 with the standard deviation of .48. This showed that participants were positive about the
educational impact of using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics.

The third component was ‘usefulness of NetMeeting to present information and learning
resources’. Most of the respondents (52.8%) strongly agreed that NetMeeting was useful to
present information and learning resources. Meanwhile, among the respondents, 36.1% of
them agreed and 11.1% of them were undecided on whether NetMeeting could support
classroom interaction and activities. The mean of this component was 4.44, with the standard
deviation of .56. This means that preservice teachers were positive about the overall
usefulness of NetMeeting for present information and learning resources.


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‘Participating in the classroom interaction and activities’ was the fourth component. There
were two items measuring this component. Among the respondents, 52.8% of them strongly
agreed, 38.9% of them agreed and 8.3% of them were undecided on whether NetMeeting
allowed them to participate in the classroom interaction and activities. The mean for this
component was 4.24 with the standard deviation of .65. This showed that respondent agreed
that they were participating in the classroom interaction and activities.

The last component was ‘technical aspect’. From this aspect, 30.6% of the respondents
strongly agreed that the use of NetMeeting in teaching and learning did not encounter many
technical problems. 36.1% of the respondents agreed while 33.3% of the respondents were
undecided on whether the use of NetMeeting encountered many technical problems. The
mean for this component was 3.72 with the standard deviation of .69. This showed that
respondents agreed that the use of NetMeeting in teaching and learning did not encounter
many technical problems.

       Table 1. Perception on using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics

                   Strongly                             Strongly      Standard
Component                    Disagreed Undecided Agreed          Mean
                   disagreed                             agreed       deviation
Interaction and
                      0%          0%          2.8%       . 36.1    61.1%      4.42      .66
activities
Educational
                      0%          0%          2.8%       . 36.1    61.1%      4.48      .48
impact
Usefulness of
NetMeeting to
present
                      0%          0%         11.1%       36.1%     52.8%      4.44      .56.
information and
learning
resources
Participating in
the classroom
                      0%          0%          8.3%       38.9%     52.8%      4.24      .65
interaction and
activities
Technical aspect      0%          0%         33.3%       36.1%     30.6%      3.72      .69.
Grand Mean                                                                    4.25      .48

Overall Grand mean of the five components was 4.25 with the standard deviation of .48. This
showed that respondents perceived positively using NetMeeting in teaching and learning
mathematics. This supported the finding Legutko (2007), Parcell and Giddens (2002) and
Wang (2006)

Strengths and Weaknesses of using NetMeeting in Teaching and Learning Mathematics

Participants reported few strengths of using NetMeeting in teaching and learning
mathematics. They revealed that the NetMeeting classes were more interesting compared to
traditional classroom lecture. They were motivated to learn with colourful fonts, writing and
highlighting. They said that the font size was clear and sufficiently large. They also revealed
that the diagrams, illustrations and graphs could be easily drawn on the NetMeeting


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interactive whiteboard. Respondents also said that the use of NetMeeting helped in organizing
the teaching and learning materials in a neat and systematic way. Most of respondents
expressed that they enjoyed the lecture.

Respondents also reported that the use of NetMeeting could save time and cost. This was
because all information and discussion on NetMeeting interactive whiteboard could be saved
and reused. Respondents said that this saved time in rewriting the notes in the next lecture.
Respondents also indicated that the use of NetMeeting reduced cost in buying marker pens,
papers, duster and chalks.

Respondents were happy with the flexible feature in NetMeeting. They revealed that
NetMeeting allowed programs to be shared with other computers simultaneously. They could
write and highlight the required information with ease. Respondents also said that they could
review their discussions as often as needed.

Respondents also reported that the use of NetMeeting made their learning more efficient. This
was consistent with Parcell and Giddens (2002). The saved file can be reused again and any
correction on the previous file could be done easily. Respondents also agreed that complicated
mathematical equations that were difficult to type could be written easily using this software.
By using NetMeeting, users could easily cut and paste any materials from other sources into
NetMeeting interactive whiteboard. This facility allowed them to carry out editing and
reorganization of the teaching materials. The ease of use features found in the study was
consistent with Farren (2002) and Winhousem Research (2006).

Respondents revealed that NetMeeting was easy to be used and the software was very user
friendly. This finding was consistent with research finding of Wang (2006) and Winhousem
(2006). Respondents said that NetMeeting facilitates active interaction between lecturer and
learners. They were able to carry out interactions with their lecturer and their peers through
discussions, chat and sharing of information on the NetMeeting’s interactive whiteboard. This
method of communication enhanced interaction and respondents felt free to give their
opinions and share their knowledge with their peers. Respondents also revealed that
NetMeeting was environmental friendly because it has chalk dust free.

Preservice teachers pointed out some weaknesses of using NetMeeting in teaching and
learning mathematics. They consensusly said that one of the weaknesses of NetMeeting was
internet connectivity. NetMeeting required wireless or Internet connection and also electricity
supply. Lectures could not be carried out if one of these requirements encountered a problem.
Respondents also pointed out that there were technical and maintenance problems. They
reported that when too many participants were involved in the teaching and learning processes
at the same time, the software would encounter some problems and need to be restarted.
Respondents also complained that some of the participants’ handwriting was not clear and
difficult to read. The respondents also raised the issue of the size of the NetMeeting
interactive whiteboard. They said that the size of the interactive whiteboard was still limited
as some of the mathematics solutions needed a longer page.




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CONCLUSION

The study found that NetMeeting was accepted by two groups of preservice teachers. They
perceived positively on using NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics. There were
few strengths and weaknesses of using NetMeeting found in the study. The study suggested to
use NetMeeting in teaching and learning mathematics by improving the weaknesses. The
study also suggested to dupicate this type of study in other subjects.


REFERENCES

BANAFA, F. H. H. (2004) The impact of the Internet and multimedia on pronunciation and
oral communication of Arab college students learning English in the United States. New
Mexico, New Mexico State University.

FARREN, M. (2002) Using Videoconferencing to Facilitate Various Perspectives on
theTeaching and Learning Process.

LEGUTKO, R. S. (June, 2007) Back to the Future: The Practicality of Using Microsoft
NetMeeting for Effective Distance Tutoring. Association for the Advancement of Computing
in Education (AACE) ED-MEDIA World Conference on Educational Multimedia,
Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

LEVY, P. (2002) Interactive whiteboards in learnng and teaching in two sheffield schools: a
developmental study. Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield.

PARCELL, J. & GIDDENS, N. (2002) Assessment of NetMeeting® for Professional
Development Programming. Jounal of Extension, 40.

WAINHOUSE RESEARCH (2006) Kicking the NetMeeting Habit: A Two-Step Program to
Unleash the Full Potential of Web Conferencing. WebEx Communications, Inc.

WANG, Y. (2006) Review of windows netmeeting. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language
Teaching, 3, 57-63.




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