Understanding decimal numbers : a foundation for correct calculations

Pierce, Robyn U., Steinle, Vicki A., Stacey, Kaye C. and Widjaja, Wanty 2008, Understanding decimal numbers : a foundation for correct calculations, International journal of nursing education scholarship, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-15.

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Title Understanding decimal numbers : a foundation for correct calculations
Author(s) Pierce, Robyn U.
Steinle, Vicki A.
Stacey, Kaye C.
Widjaja, WantyORCID iD for Widjaja, Wanty orcid.org/0000-0002-7288-6088
Journal name International journal of nursing education scholarship
Volume number 5
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher Berkeley Electronic Press
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1548-923X
Keyword(s) adult numeracy
decimal numbers
workplace numeracy
e education
Summary This paper reports on the effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve nursing students’ conceptual understanding of decimal numbers. Results of recent intervention studies have indicated some success at improving nursing students’ numeracy through practice in applying procedural rules for calculation and working in real or simulated practical contexts. However, in this we identified a fundamental problem: a significant minority of students had an inadequate understanding of decimal numbers. The intervention aimed to improve nursing students’ basic understanding of the size of decimal numbers, so that, firstly, calculation rules are more meaningful, and secondly, students can interpret decimal numbers (whether digital output or results of calculations) sensibly. A well-researched, time-efficient diagnostic instrument was used to identify individuals with an inadequate understanding of decimal numbers. We describe a remedial intervention that resulted in significant improvement on a delayed post-intervention test. We conclude that nurse educators should consider diagnosing and, as necessary, plan for remediation of students’ foundational understanding of decimal numbers before teaching procedural rules.
Language eng
Field of Research 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 930103 - Learner Development
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30048407

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Education
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Created: Mon, 17 Sep 2012, 17:34:49 EST by Wanty Widjaja

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