Home Institution

University of Southern California

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy

Abstract

The goal of this practicum is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Khan Academy videos as a tool for teaching Maths in a low-resourced school. The Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization based in California whose mission is to produce engaging videos for students to learn Maths, science, and other subjects. The Khan Academy videos have garnered more than 350 million views on YouTube and have thus proven to be a valuable learning tool for many students. This project analyzes the effectiveness of these videos for teaching Maths to Grade 9 students at Menzi High School, a low-resourced school in the Umlazi township of Durban.

For three weeks, students watched and learned Maths from the Khan Academy videos, which were displayed on a projector in the classroom. The videos chosen complemented their usual lessons in Maths and matched the school's educational curriculum, along with the South African education curriculum, so that students fulfilled the school's requirements. In the end, students were assessed with a short quiz after watching these videos to determine the effectiveness of these videos in teaching Maths. Student input on the Khan Academy videos was also taken by having students fill out a questionnaire.

The results indicate that the Khan Academy videos were effective for teaching simpler Maths concepts to students, but were not as effective for teaching more difficult Maths concepts. The results also convey that many students have a weak foundation in Maths, which might be influencing their ability to understand high level Maths concepts. Lastly, the results show that although students believed that the Khan Academy videos have certain flaws, they also believed that the videos provided a valuable learning experience for them.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Methods | Science and Mathematics Education

 

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