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Published by momokocyg, 2022-03-14 21:47:32


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13-14 SEPTEMBER 2021

Promoting Active Learning Through Hands-on Activities
Among Matriculation Students

(Menggalakkan Pembelajaran Aktif Melalui Aktiviti Hands-on dalam
Kalangan Pelajar Matrikulasi)

Azlina Mazlan
Science Department, Kedah Matriculation College. Kedah, Malaysia
[email protected]

Siti Munirah Mohamed
Science Department, Kedah Matriculation College. Kedah, Malaysia
[email protected]

Asma Ahmad
Science Department, Kedah Matriculation College. Kedah, Malaysia
[email protected]

Promoting Active Learning Through Hands-on Activities
Among Matriculation Students

(Menggalakkan Pembelajaran Aktif Melalui Aktiviti Hands-on dalam
Kalangan Pelajar Matrikulasi)

Azlina Mazlan, Siti Munirah Mohamed, Asma Ahmad


This study was an action research that was carried out with the goal of improving teaching strategies to promote
students’ active learning in Physics through hands-on activities. It was conducted on Two Years Matriculation
Programme students from Kedah Matriculation College. Observations and diagnostic tests were used to conduct
preliminary surveys. Students are treated by completing a task involving the creation of a project related to the
use of magnetism in everyday life. The level of student involvement in producing the greatest work results was
measured using report writing grading rubrics and questionnaires. The study targeted 69 students from three
classes who received four weeks of treatment. Hands-on activities can enhance active learning, according to
observations made of students as they worked to complete their writing reports. Results from the survey also
shows that the teaching approach was able to generate an exciting and enjoyable learning atmosphere for the
students. Students’ involvement in learning will enhance if they are encouraged to fix faults while performing the
hands-on tasks. The technique was found to be successful in motivating students to adapt new knowledge and
improving students’ active learning. Hands-on activities can assist students develop skills and experience that are
needed in the workforce, such as critical thinking, creativity, adaptability, and flexibility. These skills make
students more marketable and valuable to the industry since these are the qualities demanded by today’s industry
as it adapts to the fourth industrial revolution.

Key Words: hands-on activities; active learning; Physics; magnetism; matriculation


Kajian ini adalah penyelidikan tindakan yang dilakukan dengan tujuan meningkatkan strategi pengajaran untuk
mempromosikan pembelajaran aktif pelajar dalam Fizik melalui aktiviti hands-on. Kajian ini dijalankan terhadap
pelajar Program Matrikulasi Dua Tahun dari Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah. Pemerhatian dan ujian diagnostik
digunakan untuk melakukan tinjauan awal. Intervensi dijalankan terhadap pelajar di mana mereka perlu
menyelesaikan tugas yang melibatkan penghasilan projek yang berkaitan dengan penggunaan magnet dalam
kehidupan seharian. Tahap penglibatan pelajar dalam memberi hasil kerja yang baik diukur dengan menggunakan
rubrik penggredan penulisan laporan dan soal selidik. Intervensi dilaksanakan terhadap 69 orang pelajar daripada
tiga kelas selama empat minggu. Berdasarkan kepada pemerhatian, aktiviti hands-on dapat meningkatkan
pembelajaran aktif pelajar dalam usaha menyelesaikan laporan penulisan mereka. Hasil tinjauan juga
menunjukkan bahawa pendekatan pengajaran ini dapat menghasilkan suasana pembelajaran yang menarik dan
menyeronokkan bagi para pelajar. Penglibatan pelajar dalam pembelajaran akan meningkat sekiranya mereka
terdorong untuk memperbaiki kesalahan semasa melakukan aktiviti hands-on. Teknik ini didapati berjaya
memotivasi pelajar untuk menyesuaikan pengetahuan baru dan meningkatkan pembelajaran aktif pelajar. Aktiviti
hands-on dapat membantu pelajar mengembangkan kemahiran dan pengalaman yang diperlukan dalam tenaga
kerja, seperti pemikiran kritis, kreativiti, kemampuan menyesuaikan diri, dan fleksibiliti. Kemahiran berharga ini
menjadikan pelajar lebih mudah memasuki cabaran pekerjaan dan industri kerana ianya seiring dengan kualiti
yang dituntut oleh revolusi industri keempat.

Kata Kunci: aktiviti hands-on; pembelajaran aktif; Fizik; magnet; matrikulasi


Creativity is regarded as a necessary ability for the twenty-first century and should be taught
as such (Robinson, 2006). Classroom creativity can help students develop their adaptability
and problem-solving skills. Teachers must devise techniques to stimulate students’ creativity
and give them opportunities to further develop their own creative ability. For the development
of students’ and teachers’ creativity, hands-on practise is an acceptable and helpful educational
method. Hands-on practise have an even bigger part in science teaching. STEM education is a
method of teaching and learning that focuses on the knowledge and skills of science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education has recently become a primary
focus for most modern countries (Kuenzi, 2008). Between 2001 and 2010, Malaysia’s
education system prioritised the growth of information and communication technology (ICT)
in education and the economy (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2001). The period of STEM
has expanded the period of science, technology, and society in the global economy (Ramaley,
2009). Many implementations are made in developing countries to convert the situation of old
classrooms to more active ones. STEM in physics teaching and learning can help students build
balanced skills in a variety of areas, which will be a major source of national progress in the

Based on more than ten years of experience in teaching physics, most students were
less interested in this topic since they couldn’t relate the theory of magnetic fields to everyday
applications (Saglam and Millar, 2006). Abstract concepts of Physics need to be well
understood. If students do not able to understand the concept of physics well then they will
they will develop misconceptions that will obstruct their ability to solve problems. Students
can only grasp a topic if they can apply it and solve difficulties effectively. As expected by the
Matriculation Division of the Ministry of Education Malaysia, mastery in a concept learned
will lead to higher achievement, which can indirectly raise student outcomes. As a result, the
teaching and learning style that is suited for the level of student acceptance must be used. The
researchers proposed that a teaching technique that integrates hands-on classroom experiences
to assist students better understand the concept of magnetic field should be implemented. In
addition, researchers want to ensure that teaching and learning runs actively in order to produce
active students who collaborate ideas in solving problems and also can stimulate creative and
critical thinking to reach an innovative level that is to be able to create something new as in
21st century learning. This is important element in teaching and learning process to make sure
students are able to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create as suggested in
the Bloom’s Taxonomy. Many studies have found that there is a correlation between hands-on
activities with students’ level of understanding and active learning. These cognitive and
practical skills are in line with the requirements of today’s STEM education.

Hence, this study the study aims to answer two major questions: i) How active learning
improve student’s report writing?, and ii) How do hands-on activities can promote active


In the recent years, instructors are promoted to make a change in perspective of learning from
inactive learning to a more active and energetic learning experience. One of active learning
example is hands-on learning. Hands-on learning approach is a student-centred educational
strategy during which students interact to solve issues and replicate on their experiences.
Hands-on learning involves the student in all out learning encounters which improves the
student capacity to think fundamentally. It involved learning exercises for the most part began
after students obtained the key ideas and speculations by means of lectures and readings. Active

learning empowers student to become basic scholars, ready to apply what they have realized,
however more critically, the way toward figuring out how to different life circumstances.
Through involvement in dynamic learning, there are growing in students’ satisfaction as stated
by Koska & Condra (2018) in their article. This discovery line up with Jensen, Kummer and
Godoy’s (2015) decision that the utilization of dynamic learning (in either a conventional
model or flipped classroom) is more captivating to students than the utilization of direct
guidance procedures.

Physics is one of subject offered in Matriculation Programme by Kementerian Pelajaran
Malaysia. It is known that Physics is one of many branches in natural science which are widely
applied to different parts of science. Few parts of science utilize the concept and calculations
in Physics directly (Serway & Jewett, 2018), even in some other parts of science take Physics
could be a crucial basis within the advancement of information (Koonin, 2018). In
matriculation colleges, various teaching and learning techniques are implemented according to
the creativity of the educators. There are educators who use a combination of conventional
methods with hands-on activities, or even use a project-based approach not to be missed that
use online teaching. The blend of teaching materials and the right techniques will make the
learning cycle in fundamental material science courses relevant and significant as a component
of deep rooted learning (Geller, Turpen, and Crouch, 2018). Although various teaching
techniques are used in matriculation colleges, there are still veteran lecturers who still maintain
a teacher-centered approach. Onanuga, Saka & Ogwokhademhe (2021) suggested that based
on the diversity of backgrounds of students taking science subjects, teacher-centered approach
is unable to meet their learning needs. The use of hands-on teaching and learning approaches
or practical activities has given many advantages to students to be actively involved in the
learning process (Aji & Khan, 2019; Taylor, 2019).

Hands-on teaching and learning approaches as a component of active exercises in
various courses. Students can create and use models as intentional portrayals, for example to
dissect practices, cycles or properties. Despite of that, students can utilize video from many
sources to visualize virtual models in order to perform virtual materials and explore knowledge
themselves. Klahr et. al. (2007) recommend that whether or not the student’s hands are on
physical or virtual materials, one ought to take into account each situations as active activities.
It ought to be noticed that this approach offers students a chance to become impelled and
dynamic participants in the learning interaction using different digital tools. Additionally they
can utilize the acquired skills to set their future carrier paths.


This study utilised action research with descriptive methods to answer some research questions.
We focuses on encouraging matriculation students to engage in active learning through hands-
on activities. The action research model developed by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988)
corresponds to the steps taken by researchers in developing an action research cycle.

Starting with a preliminary survey, students were asked to describe how magnets were
used in their daily lives. They can explain what magnets can do, but they can’t explain how
magnets can change energy from one form to another without causing irreversible energy loss.
Although majority of students theoretically knew Magnetism concepts but they cannot relate
the concept to real life situations. Students were then given diagnostic questions before the start
of the research to determine their initial knowledge of magnets and electromagnetic induction.
The questions for this study were drawn from sets of previous quiz questions and validated by
Kedah Matriculation’s Physics SME (Subject Matter Expert) lecturer. Students were having

difficulty answering the diagnostic questions, according to the researcher’s observations. It’s
clear that they are unsure of themselves and their solutions.

The researchers discovered that typical teaching methods lead students to become bored
and idle during brainstorming sessions. Through conversation with fellow researchers, several
teaching strategies must be established to ensure that student-centered learning may be applied
to achieve the learning objectives. Hence, the researchers come up with the idea of using hands-
on activities as our teaching strategies to promote active learning.

Students are given the task of producing a hands-on mini-project that uses the concept
of magnets. They are divided into several groups of students consisting of three or four
members. Students were not only need to relate theoretical magnet principles to real-world
applications, but they have propelled and inspired to relate the concept of magnets to
electromagnets. These activities are applied to Module II students from two years programme
in order improve students active learning. These students have no any middle semester

This research included two types of data collection methods: questionnaires, and
assignment reports. We assess students with full integrity by using the rubric provided by the
BMKPM (Bahagian Matrikulasi Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia). Magnet was a theme that
came before Electromagnetic Induction, therefore the students’ comprehension of the notion
of magnet was given extra focus. Following the completion of the scheduled topic, surveys
were distributed to evaluate the outcomes of implementing hands-on activities to the specific
Research Design
The action research model developed by Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) corresponds to the
steps taken by researchers in developing an action research cycle. The model was illustrated
in Figure 1.

FIGURE 1. The Cyclical AR Model Based on Kemmis & McTaggart (1988)

Target of Study

The study’s target consists of 69 students from Module II, Semester Two Session 2019/2020
at Kedah Matriculation College. This class has 36 female students and 33 male students.

Data Collection Method/Instrumentation

The researchers collected data using magnetic assignments and questionnaires connected to
hands-on practises as instruments. On a hands-on basis, the researcher seeks to examine
students’ perceptions of learning.

Data Analysis Method

This study’s data was analysed descriptively using percentages and ranges. Students’ ability
to write assignment reports is described using ranges, whereas their perceptions of the use of
hands-on activities in learning is described using percentages.

How active learning improve students’ report writing?

Students were engaged and enthusiastically interested in learning physics concepts during the
hands-on activities. Other than that, students’ assignment reports were found to be written at a

higher level of knowledge. Based on data analysis, it was discovered that hands-on activities

in physics classes assist students in reaching mastery motivation and achievement.

No. Item TABLE 1. Assignment Report Result. Level
Mean Score High
1. Originality 3.71 High
2. Coherently written academic discourse 4.00 High
3. Problem Identification 4.05 High

4. Analysis 4.14

5. Application 4.14

6. Relevance of References 4.05

Total 4.02

TABLE 2. Interpretation of Mean Score (Source : Landell, 1977)

Mean Score Level

1.00 – 2.33 Low

2.34 – 3.67 Moderate

3.68 – 5.00 High

Landell’s (1977) Table of Interpretation of Mean Score was used to interpret the generated
student assignments. All students’ writing reports are evaluated using rubrics provided by
BMKPM. It includes a number of criteria that can be used to assess a students’ ability to
complete an assignment. Table 1 show students’ writing report mean score.

The average student score for the originality criteria is 3.71. In comparison to other

criteria, this value is the lowest one. According to the observations to the majority of the

students’ writing report, they were unable to absorb the needed concepts effectively. Some
students still rely on memorization techniques or copy concepts directly from reference
materials. However, most of them were able to write and convey their views in a structured
manner. Based on the 4.00 average score earned, students have a good understanding of the
subjects they’ve learnt and explored. Students’ problem identification has a mean score of 4.05,
which is slightly higher than the second criteria. According to this score, students were able to
express the problem extremely clearly and accurately with hands-on activities. During the
presentation, the students able to elaborate and connect their knowledge to the issue presented,
as well as describe it clearly in their writing report. They also able to organise and analyse the
information provided based on their writing. Their understanding on magnetism topics is
shown in the problem-solving process. With a mean score of 4.14, the score was classified as
high, indicating that the majority of students can analyse the problem. The findings are in line
with those of Akben (2018), who discovered that problem-solving skills can be improved by
hands-on activities, whether structured or not.

The mean score of application is 4.14 that was in high application skill level. The
finding shows that students are able to relate the concepts learned to daily life. It indirectly
engage multiple areas of the brain by producing this project. Students need to think deeply to
ensure that the resulting product works well. This causes students to think about the relationship
between the variables found in the concept of magnetism. Thinking skills become the most
important item in completing this assignment. Students must be able to remember and select
appropriate concepts to use. Students also develops the idea of concept so as to be able to give
an idea to the creation. Then students apply the concept and begin to select the components and
materials that need to be in the production. In addition, students should be able to make
connections between the ideas applied and the functionality of the product. Student is then able
to describe, illustrate and make conclusions clearly about the product and its functionality. If
the product does not work well, then students need to suggest new ideas or alternatives to solve
the problem. This indirectly causes students to think creatively and critically throughout the
production of this product. Finally students are able to design the product with good
functionality with justification and reasons for each component that has been created in the

The finding shows that the students are able to write relevance of references very well.
The mean score of 4.05 indicates that it exceed the required number of references according to
APA citation format.This part allows students to be introduced to standard writing formats.
Students need to write clearly according to the APA format. This way of writing is important
to enable students to know the actual techniques or methods in professional writing which they
will use up to the highest level. The finding shows that students are able to give the excellent
appropriateness and relevance of reference. Table 1 shows the overall mean score of practical
report is 4.02 which is at a high level. This indicates that overall students are able to fix in eight
of perspective items as in table 1 related to the students’ perceptions of hands-on learning. The
findings of the study show that students are able in practical reports requirements clearly. This
also shows that the use of hands on activity give the positive effect on student learning. The
results give the impression that hands on activity succeeded in producing excellent students as
expected by the researchers.

How do hands-on activities can promote active learning?

Students were given a list of statements (The Perceptual Learning Scale) and asked to choose
which ones they agreed with using the options below:

1. Strongly Disagree 2. Disagree 3. Neutral 4. Agree 5. Strongly Agree

The Perceptual Learning Scale (PLS) was developed based on the hands-on activities designed
in this study and was adapted from the questionnaires used by Warter-Perez and Dong (2012)
and Strayer (2007).

Hands on practice can be a suitable teaching

Hands on practice can improve interest in class

Hands on practice can improve interest in
exploring topics

Hands on practice can improve subject interest

Hands on practice can improve interest in
knowledge construction

Finding errors can improve learning effectiveness

Hands on practice can improve learning

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70


FIGURE 2. Percentage of students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of hands-on learning

The findings indicate 43.5 % of students agreed while the other 53.5 % strongly agreed that
hands-on learning can improve learning effectiveness. In the field of magnetism, hands-on
activities were discovered to be an effective technique to enhance physics accomplishment.
According to Haury and Rillero (2015), hands-on learning involves students in a full learning
experience that enhances their critical thinking skills. Hands-on learning has been
demonstrated to be more successful in helping students understand what they are taught. The
study found that hands-on learning had a significant impact on the overall mean score. In part,
this is due to the fact that it has both physiological and psychological impacts on the learner.
Learning by doing is more successful since it uses both sides of the brain. It’s the left
hemisphere’s job to listen and analyse, whereas the right hemisphere’s job is to see and perceive
spatially. The brain is better equipped to store and recall information when learning methods
are combined. Sensory and motor-related parts of the brain are more active when people reflect
on things they’ve had firsthand experience with, according to brain scans.

Students can detect faults that may occur throughout the learning process, rectify those
mistakes, and solve problems encountered during the implementation of the activity by using
hands-on teaching and learning methods. They were given minimal instructions, which allowed
them to experiment and come up with different solutions on their own. They also indicated a
strong desire to redo their projects if they were given the chance. With 27.3 % of students
agreed and 72.7 % strongly agreed, shows that hands-on teaching method can improve their
interest in knowledge construction. This is not surprising given that several studies have shown
that incorporating hands-on education into classroom instruction can improve students’
cognitive achievement (Gerstner and Bogner, 2010 Hands-on learning also gives a learner the
chance to safely make mistakes and learn by doing. Students who make mistakes are more
likely to reflect on the situation. Once the errors have been discovered and fixed, students are
considerably more vigilant, and the faults offer them an understanding of what the problem

was in the conception. The study’s findings demonstrate that, on average, 56.5% of participants

agreed, with 43.5% strongly agreeing, that hands-on experience can boost interest in
knowledge construction. Most students agree that hands-on activities are helpful in developing
their kinesthetic abilities. Kinesthetic learning is the third and most intriguing of the learning
styles, merging of two elements which are visual and auditory learning and involve full
participation from the students. This blended learning technique is one of the key drivers in
understanding more about the physics concept because it can covert the abstract concept to
concrete illustration. This learning technique can assist students in applying physics concepts
to real-life situations. 56.5% agree and 43.5% strongly agree with the aspect of the effect of
hands on activity to the improvement of interest to physics especially magnetism concept.
Hands on activity involving ‘doing’ helps them to gain a better understanding of the concept
or material. It allows students to do experiment with trial and error, learn from their mistakes,
and understand the potential gaps between theory and practice. The most important is to enrich

the minds of students in new and engaging ways to improve students creativity and critical
skills through play, experiment or try and error whenever, wherever and whatever they
want. Students are at ease and are constantly thinking and trying to solve challenges. This
inadvertently piques students’ curiosity in trying new things and attempting to apply theory to
solve difficulties. It can then make students enjoy themselves while attaining the lesson’s goals.

The results of the study showed that only some of students did not fully agree about the
Hands on practice can improve interest in exploring topics which is 8.7% but the rest which is
majority 30.4% agree and 60.9% strongly agree are agreed about the aspect. This show that
hands-on approach is able to increase students’ physic achievement because it can improve
students understanding of scientific concepts by manipulating objects. Hands-on activity can
convert the abstract knowledge to be more concrete and clearer. Through hands-on-approach,
students are able to engage in real life illustrations and observe the effects of changes in
different variables. It obviously make an abstract concept to a concrete illustrations of concepts.

This is a student-centered method that allows students to see, touch, and manipulate objects in
line with finding, making connections, and inferring physics theories that advocate “do it
yourself” to know clearly about the phenomenon or occurrence of a thing. Therefore this

learning method can improve the interest to the topic of magnetism. All students agreed about
hands on practice can improve interest in class which are 54.5% agree and 45.5% strongly
agree respectively. Interest in class is an important variable in the education context, as it can
influence students’ levels of learning, academic performance and the quality of learning
experience. Practical work or hands on activity can evoke students’ interest and to motivate
them to learn Physics. Hands-on makes students feel fun to learn because they can see all the
theoretical connections with what is happening in front of their eyes. They become excited and
arouse the spirit to learn and continue to learn about the concept of magnets. If students can
understand the content of the lesson in class, then students will feel fun to learn in class. This
increases students’ interest in learning in the classroom. 57.1% students agree and 38.1%

students are strongly agree that hands on practice can be a suitable teaching strategy.
Meanwhile only 4.8% does not agree with that. This result shows that all students feel that this
learning method is suitable to use in the classroom because it brings many benefits to students.
Hands on activity suitable for the learning needs of students in understanding the concept of
magnets. This makes teaching and learning meaningful as it achieves the objectives of teaching.
This can be seen from the good response of students when they give positive feedback on the
impact of hands on activity approach to students.


This study was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on teaching and learning
methods in terms of improving students’ knowledge and active learning, as well as to learn
about their perspectives on hands-on strategy learning. Assignments presented via reports
successfully completed by the students. Students able to explain the working principles of
magnets and electromagnetic induction, as well as the factors that influence the outcome of
their project and the methods utilised to overcome them. This demonstrates that they are having
fun, which may improve research participants’ enthusiasm in using hands-on teaching and
learning methods. Physics concepts can be difficult to grasp, but through hands-on learning,
these activities can be effective on students’ achievements and motivation. This study has a
positive impact on students, instructors, and administration at the school, notably in the field
of physics. Educators might utilise the findings of this study as a guide for devising new
teaching strategies. Additionally, the results of this research can assist KPM/BMKPM in
formulating education policies, student activity plans, and teaching and learning syllabuses
that incorporate hands-on activities that have been shown to promote student understanding
and, as a result, student achievement. Because the researcher was a teacher, only students from
the Two Years Matriculation Programme were included in this study. The analysis of the
findings of this study only focuses on the report writing grading rubrics and questionnaires but
not from lecturer observation during hands-on activity. The results is depends on the honesty
of the students in writing the practical report and answering questionnaires. The time of this
study is also limited that is within four weeks of treatment only because the researcher needs
to take into account the maturity period of the study. Given the importance of integrated hands-
on teaching and learning in physics (Becker & Park, 2011; Murphy and Mancini- Samuelson,
2012; Lamb, et al., 2015), it would be beneficial to emphasise hands-on teaching and learning
at matriculation college. . Future research could concentrate on the benefits of hands-on
teaching and learning on higher-order thinking skills.


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Teaching Geometric Progression Using the Spread of
COVID-19 Pandemic Mathematical Model

(Mengajar Janjang Geometri Menggunakan Model Matematik
Penyebaran Pandemik COVID-19)

Nurul Syazwani binti Omar
Kedah Matriculation College
[email protected]

Chow Choon Wooi
Kedah Matriculation College
[email protected]

Kang Kooi Wei
Kedah Matriculation College
[email protected]

Teaching Geometric Progression Using the Spread of
COVID-19 Pandemic Mathematical Model

(Mengajar Janjang Geometri Menggunakan Model Matematik
Penyebaran Pandemik COVID-19)

Nurul Syazwani Omar, Chow Choon Wooi, Kang Kooi Wei


Mathematics in its purest forms has fascinating power and exceptional beauty. New mathematics is the key to
innovations in most science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related (STEM) disciplines.
Mathematical modelers use concepts from mathematics to deal with huge, complicated, real problems. These
problems can be motivating for mathematics students, who can relate to mathematics that solve problems that
are important to them. Learning geometric progression without understanding how to connect it in real-life
situations can make the students feel bored and demotivated. The preliminary analysis has shown that students
were unable to relate real-life situations and mathematics for geometric progression and have very low
motivation in mathematics. An action research was conducted to highlight how mathematical model for the
spread of COVID-19 can be used to teach geometric progression. The participants of this study were 15 students
from Kedah Matriculation College, academic year of 2020/2021. Data has been collected through observations
and questionnaires. The result from the findings shows that the students learned how to relate and analyze real-
life realistic situations using mathematical modelling. Hence, the student's motivation in the mathematics
classroom was increased. This study proposes the suggestion to implement the usage of real-life problems in
other topics teaching as an ongoing process of teaching and learning to let the students connecting mathematics
with real-life.

Key Words: Geometric Progression; Mathematical Modelling; Matriculation College; STEM


Matematik dalam bentuknya yang paling murni mempunyai daya tarikan dan keindahan yang luar biasa.
Matematik baru adalah kunci inovasi dalam kebanyakan disiplin sains, teknologi, kejuruteraan, dan matematik
(STEM). Pemodelan matematik menggunakan konsep dari matematik untuk menangani masalah besar, rumit
dan nyata. Masalah-masalah ini boleh menjadi motivasi bagi pelajar matematik, yang dapat berkait dengan
matematik yang menyelesaikan masalah yang penting bagi mereka. Mempelajari janjang geometri tanpa
memahami bagaimana menghubungkannya dalam situasi kehidupan sebenar dapat membuat pelajar merasa
bosan dan tidak berminat. Analisis awal menunjukkan bahawa pelajar tidak dapat mengaitkan situasi dan
matematik dalam kehidupan sebenar untuk janjang geometri dan mempunyai motivasi yang sangat rendah dalam
matematik. Satu kajian tindakan telah dilakukan untuk menyoroti bagaimana pemodelan matematik untuk
penyebaran COVID-19 dapat digunakan untuk mengajar janjang geometri. Peserta kajian ini adalah 15 orang
pelajar dari Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah, tahun akademik 2020/2021. Data telah dikumpulkan melalui pemerhatian
dan soal selidik. Hasil daripada dapatan menunjukkan bahawa para pelajar belajar bagaimana mengaitkan dan
menganalisis situasi realistik kehidupan sebenar menggunakan pemodelan matematik. Oleh itu, motivasi pelajar
di kelas matematik meningkat. Kajian ini mengemukakan cadangan untuk melaksanakan penggunaan masalah
kehidupan sebenar dalam pengajaran topik lain sebagai proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran yang berterusan
untuk membiarkan pelajar menghubungkan matematik dengan kehidupan sebenar.

Kata kunci: Janjang Geometri; Pemodelan Matematik; Kolej Matrikulasi; STEM


Mathematics in its purest forms has fascinating power and exceptional beauty. Having
excellent knowledge and skills in mathematics can help the students to relate more with other
science subjects such as physics, biology, and others. As our society moving towards the
technology era, students should be more proficient and have a high understanding of
mathematics. However, for students nowadays, mathematics is just a subject that they need to
learn to pass their exams.

The lack of interest in mathematics is because the students could not relate mathematics
in real life. Whenever the students want to know when are they are going to use any concepts
or topics in mathematics, the answers given are they only need to understand it right now. They
will only learn more about it later. As a result, students are no longer curious when they study
new concepts or topics about mathematics.

In traditional classroom settings, some mathematics formulas are given to the students
to memorise then they will do lots of questions for drill and practice. Instead of choosing the
correct steps carefully, students will use any of the formulas without thinking. After that, they
will try to see if it will match the final answer.

As an effective educator, the educator must change how the traditional classroom
teaches mathematics. In the fourth industrial revolution, more and more robots will replace
humans' work. To prepare students for their future, educators need to equip students with
important information and decision skills that could not be replaced by robots. Hence, the
educator must focus on understanding how to connect real-life problems with the application
of knowledge.


The main objectives of the study were as follows;

1. To increase students’ motivation in learning geometric progression
2. To relate and analyse real-life realistic situations using mathematical modelling


Most simply, STEM stands for four disciplines which are science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics. Sanders (2009) suggested integrating STEM between or among any two or
more STEM disciplines. It will ensure the teacher have the liberty to incorporate STEM in
their teaching and learning activities. One particular outstanding method to incorporate STEM
is by using mathematical modelling. Mathematical modelling is interpreting any problem in
the real world into a mathematical model. It will help motivate students who can relate to
mathematics that solve real-world situations that are relatable and meaningful to them
(Bonotto, 2010). The cycle of the modelling process created by Blum and Leib (2007) showed
the seven steps involved in modelling mathematics.

FIGURE 1. Modelling cycle (Blum and Leib, 2007)

For new learners, it is not easy to differentiate between simplifying structuring and
mathematising, referring to steps 2 and 3 of the modelling cycle. Besides, the difference
between interpreting, validating and explaining results can be confusing as well. Therefore,
this study will use a simplified model consisting of four steps which is more suitable (Blum &
Ferri, 2009).

Understanding Searching
Task Mathematics

Explaining Using
Results Mathematics

FIGURE 2. Solution plan (Blum & Ferri, 2009)


Research Design

This study uses the most renowned model for action research, which is Kemmis and
McTaggart (1988). There are four phases involved in this model; planning, acting, observing
and reflecting.

FIGURE 3. Action research model (Kemmis and McTaggart, 1988)

Research Sample/Participants

The participants of this study were 15 students One Year Programme from Kedah

Matriculation College, academic year of 2020/2021. There were 10 girls and 5 boys in this

Questionnaire of preliminary survey

TABLE 1. Questionnaire of preliminary survey.

Statement Yes No

Have you ever wondered how mathematics is used in real world? 93.3% 6.7%
Have you ever heard about mathematical modelling? 0.0% 13.3%

Do you get bored when you start studying geometric progression? 86.7%

Based on the questionnaire, 93.3% of 15 students agree they have wondered how to use
mathematics in the real world. Next, all of the students never heard about mathematical
modelling before. Lastly, 13 students said they were bored when they start studying geometric
progression. This questionnaire shows that the researcher should create a mathematics lesson
that can make the students feel more relatable to geometric progression by using mathematical
modelling and apply a real-world problem.

Pre-test analysis

Firstly, the students took a pre-test to check their basic knowledge of geometric progression.
This test consists of one application problem. Students then were given 20 minutes to answer

the question. The results for the pre-test were recorded and analysed in a table.

TABLE 2. Pre-test analysis.

Student Marks(%)

Student 1 47
Student 2 33
Student 3 27
Student 4 73
Student 5 47
Student 6 53
Student 7 67
Student 8 53
Student 9 33
Student10 40
Student 11 40
Student 12 13
Student 13 40
Student 14 27
Student 15 47

The pre-test results showed that only two students get more than 50% of the total

marks. The rest of the students scored less than 50%. There were no students that scored more
than 80%. The highest mark's percentage for the students is 73% meanwhile the lowest is 13%.

Most of the students' percentages are within the range of 40% to 50%. The average for this
pre-test is 43%.

Pre-test Reflection

From the researcher's observation during the pre-test, students were having problems

answering the pre-test question. The students are confused and not confident with their
solutions. Hence, they tried to use any formula that they know to answer the question.

Intervention (Mathematical Modelling)

In the following class, the researcher started the lesson by giving the students an overview of
the learning outcomes for that day. Then, the researcher asked the students to what do they
know about COVID-19 and how does it spread. Next, the students answered some questions
in their group. After 30 minutes, the researcher asked the students to present their discussions.
Finally, the researcher introduced biochemical engineering as one of the courses they can
choose in university.

Lesson overview

i) Introduction to COVID-19
The researcher asked the students what do they know about COVID-19 and how

does it spread. The students then gave some responses directly to the researcher.

ii) Mathematical model for the spread of COVID-19

The researcher divided the students into a group of 3. Each group get the same
question. A diagram showed that an infected person would spread to two new

persons each week. The students then need to complete the given table, calculating
the number of infected and healthy people each week. Next, based on the previous

table, the students created a suitable geometric progression to describe the sum of
infected persons each week. The next question asked students to estimate how long

will it take to infect everyone in Malaysia if there is a population of 32 million in
Malaysia. Lastly, the students get another diagram showing that an infected person

will spread to three new persons each week. They also need to calculate how long
will it take to infect everyone in Malaysia and compare it with the previous result.

iii) Career paths: biochemical engineer

The researcher then wrap-up the lesson by introducing biochemical engineering as
one of the courses the students can choose in university.

Intervention Reflection

Since the students are heavily affected by COVID-19 since March 2020, the students actively

participate in the lesson. The students gave a lot of responses to the question asked by the
researcher. To create an interdisciplinary activity, the researcher incorporates science,

technology and engineering in a mathematics class. Asking the students about COVID-19 and
how COVID-19 spread is a simple way to involve science in mathematics class. Following the

first step of the simplified solution plan, the researcher reminds the students to read their
questions carefully and imagine the situation. Then, students can look for the needed data and

find the mathematical relations. After that, they will use their knowledge of mathematics.
Finally, they will link their result with the questions and write their final answer.

In the second question, students used mathematics and technology to calculate the
duration to infect everyone in Malaysia. Again, students will repeat the same simplified
solution plan procedure until they write their final answer. Lastly, the researcher introduced
biochemical engineering to integrate engineering in this lesson.

Post-test analysis

After a week, the students took a post-test to check their progress after the intervention. This
test consists of one application problem. Students then were given 20 minutes to answer the

question. The results for the post-test were recorded and analysed in a table.

Student TABLE 3. Post-test analysis.

Student 1 Marks (%)
Student 2
Student 3 87
Student 4 87
Student 5 73
Student 6 100
Student 7 87
Student 8 87

Student 9 100
Student10 87

Student 11 93
Student 12 100

Student 13 87
Student 14 80

Student 15 93

The post-test results showed that three students scored full marks in the test. And all of
the students scored more than 70%. The highest mark's percentage for the students is 100%
meanwhile the lowest is 73%. Most of the students' percentages are within the range of 80%
to 90%. The average for this post-test is 89%.

Post-test Reflection

From the researcher's observation during the post-test, students were more confident with their
solutions. All students submitted their solutions before 20 minutes is up. This result shows that
the intervention method works very well.

Comparison of pre-test and post-test

Pre-test and Post-test

No. of students 9
7 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-100
6 Marks (%)


Pre-test Post-test

FIGURE 4. Comparison between pre-test and post-test

Figure 4 showed the comparison between the mark's percentage for the pre-test and

post-test. This result showed that the performance for all students increased during the post-


This study intended to increase students' motivation in learning geometric progression. The
results from the pre-test and post-test showed that all students improved their results in the
post-test. Moreover, the average mark for the post-test is 89% compared to 43% during the
pre-test. It means that teaching geometric progression using the intervention method works.
According to Posamentier and Krulik (2016), students love to find questions and challenges
that can be solved using existing skills and knowledge since it will give them a feeling of
competence. As the students feel more curious, it will become a form of motivation for them.
The students were very interested and eager when answering the questions during the
intervention. After the class ended, the students expressed to the researcher that they also
wanted to do more application questions for the subsequent subtopics and chapters. It showed
that mathematical modelling help to motivate the students when they can relate to real-world

Besides, Asghar et al. (2012) mentioned in their research that developing
interdisciplinary problems from various STEM concepts is not an easy task. In this study, the
researcher applied science, mathematics, engineering and technology during the intervention
process. Even though relating more than two STEM disciplines together can be challenging,
the researcher feels glad to see the students' results in their post-test. It showed that the
researcher's decision to integrate different STEM disciplines in the mathematics classroom
works very well. These results also gave the researcher more confidence in applying the
mathematical model to various subtopics and chapters.


The findings showed that students have more motivation in learning geometric progression.
Besides, the students also learned how to relate and analyse real-life realistic situations using
mathematical modelling. The researcher hopes that these findings can motivate other
researchers to integrate STEM disciplines into their classes. There are two main challenges to
integrate STEM in the classroom; lack of understanding and time (Shernoff et al., 2017).
Planning a lesson that can combine two or more STEM disciplines alone can be time-
consuming since they need to understand the contents in subjects that they do not teach. Hence,
it is advisable to create a small group of researchers with different STEM disciplines. Start with
a simple STEM activity before progressing to create a more challenging project.


All authors have sufficiently contributed to the study and agreed with the results and
conclusions. Gratitude is addressed to students that participate in this research.


Asghar, A., Ellington, R., Rice, E., Johnson, F., & Prime, G. M. (2012). Supporting STEM Education
in Secondary Science Contexts. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 6(2).

Blum, W./ Lei , D. (2007). How do students’ and teachers deal with modelling problems? In: Haines,
C. et al. (Eds), Mathematical Modelling: Education, Engineering and Economics. Chichester:
Horwood , 222-231

Blum, W., Ferri, R.B. Mathematical Modelling: Can It Be Taught and Learnt? Journal of Mathematical
Modelling and Application. Vol.1, No.1, 2009. ISNN 2178-2423.

Bonotto, Cinzia (2010). Engaging Students in Mathematical Modelling and Problem Posing
Activities. Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Application. Vol 1, No 3, 18-32.

Kemmis, S., and McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner. Geelong, Australia: Deakin
University Press.

Posamentier, A. S., & Krulik, S. (2016). Effective Techniques to Motivate Mathematics Instruction (2nd
ed.). Routledge.

Sanders, M. (2009). STEM, STEM education. STEMmania. The Technology Teacher, 68(4), 20-26

Shernoff, D. J., Sinha, S., Bressler, D. M., & Ginsburg, L. (2017). Assessing teacher education and
professional development needs for the implementation of integrated approaches to STEM
education. International Journal of STEM Education, 4(1).

Inquiry-based Learning in Mathematics: Mathematical Modelling

Kang Kooi Wei
Chow Choon Wooi
Nurul Syazwani Binti Omar

Mathematics Department
Kedah Matriculation College


This research intends to enhance inquiry-based learning in Mathematics and improve
mathematical solving skills with a Mathematical Modelling approach among Kedah
Matriculation College students. The target group for this research was 15 students from class
S1T8 Semester 2 Session 2020/2021 in Kedah Matriculation College. This research is based
on the Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) Action Research Model. A preliminary survey was
conducted to identify students’ problem in learning Mathematics by using Mathematical
Modelling approach. The method used for the preliminary survey was interviews with students
as well as questionnaire. The intervention activities carried out are pre-test to identify students
who need to be given more attention that is the sample of this action research. Next the
researcher implemented inquiry-based learning as well as Mathematical Modelling in learning
and teaching quadratic function in Chapter Function and Graph. Students became more
enthusiastic and confident in learning with Mathematical Modelling approach. An interactive
and cheerful learning atmosphere can be created by learning and teaching using GeoGebra
open-source software. In addition, students’ level of understanding in inqury-based learning
increased after the study intervention. The finding shown that 53.33% of the students get
excellent grade and 46.67% of the students get good grade in the post-test. The result in the
post-test proved that the study intervention successfully achieved the objectives of the study.
Therefore, Mathematical Modelling in learning and teaching process need to be expanded
broadly as it can help students to understand and explore the meaning of equations or
functional relationship. These skills are important for students to survive in the 4th Industrial

Keywords: Inquiry-based Learning, Mathematical Modelling, Quadratic Function,
Matriculation College, STEM.


Education plays an important role in leading the generation towards the 4.0 Industrial

Revolution. In facing the challenges of Industry 4.0, the younger generation in particular needs
to master the field of STEM. This is to produce skilled human capital in the field of future
technology which is the core of Industry 4.0. Besides that, Malaysia Education Development
Plan 2013-2025 (PPPM 2013-2025) also emphasizes STEM education at the school level
through curricular and co-curricular activities with support through various stakeholders.

The role of educators are as important individuals in triggering the minds and
inspirations of students. They usually aim to motivate students towards the planned teaching
and learning. Planning needs to be made by educators to implement STEM teaching and
learning that involves the application of STEM knowledge, skills and values to solve problems
in the context of daily life, society and the environment.

Educators are encouraged to use inquiry-based learning for STEM teaching and
learning. Inquiry-based learning encourages the application of knowledge, critical thinking and
new ideas. Educators will be able to create lessons that extend beyond the classroom through
the inquiry-based learning approach. Futhermore, inquiry-based learning significantly
increases interest and understanding in science and technology.

However, there are still educators who are very weak in integrating STEM due to the
time and materials of STEM teaching which are considered burdensome. Along with it, STEM
exposure among students is also not widespread because the students’ understanding of STEM
is unclear. The mathematics syllabus in Matriculation system contains the concept of STEM
but it is not or less highlighted during teaching and learning. To address this problem, an action
research was conducted to conceptualize inquiry-based education in mathematics teaching and

2.0 Reflections on Past Teaching and Learning

Lecturer’s self-reflection
As a 21st century educator, the researcher argues that the concept of STEM in teaching

and learning is very important and should be highlighted during teaching. Inquiry-based


mathematics education allows researcher to guide students in learning mathematics with a
STEM approach during teaching. However, the researcher felt her teaching placed less
emphasis on STEM concepts in mathematics. This practice cannot guide skilled students to
face the challenges of the 4.0 Industrial Revolution. To achieve inquiry-based learning in
STEM, researcher change teaching strategies by using mathematical modelling in solving
mathematical questions.

Student reflection
A preliminary survey was conducted during the tutorial class on the subtopic of

quadratic function in the chapter of Function and Graph. From the interviews with the students,
it was found that the students did not know why they were learning the quadratic function.
Students are unable to relate their learning to daily activities. In addition, students also
responded that they do not understand about inquiry-based learning in education. This indicates
that students’ exposure to STEM is limited.

Students’ level of understanding of STEM and the use of STEM concepts in learning
was reinforced with questionnaires. Students are given a simple questionnaire to answer.

Table 1: Questionnaire of preliminary survey. Yes No
Statement 13.33% 86.67%

1. Do you know about inquiry-based learning in mathematics?

2. Do you know about mathematical modelling? 0.00% 100.00%

3. Have you ever linked mathematics learning to daily life 0.00% 100.00%
activities or real-world phenomena?

The analyse data shown that only 2 students (13.33%) know inquiry-based learning in
mathematics. This indicates that the level of inquiry-based learning exposure among students
is low. There are, in total 15 students (100%) who do not know the concept of mathematical
modelling. They also do not relate their learning with daily life activities or real-world
phenomena. The data shown that the level of STEM knowledge of students is very low and
required strong exposure and guidance on STEM education in mathematics learning among
these students.


Reflections on STEM learning in education
From the observation, many of the students lack appropriate skills to use mathematics

in practice. There are two important reasons for this lack of ability to connect theory and
practice in general. Firstly, most mathematical knowledge and skills are taught in an abstract
way, which makes it difficult for students to apply what they have learned to real-world
situations. Secondly, lecturers seldom explain and demonstrate the entire problem-solving
process, including assumptions, alternative strategies and evaluation of results. As a
consequence, the implementation of inquiry-based learning in mathematics is unattainable.

3.0 Research Focus

This research focus on enhancing inquiry-based learning by highlighting the important
of mathematical modelling and problem solving among the matriculation students.

The action research model of Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) is in line with the steps
taken by researcher in creating an action research cycle. Start by making an initial stage
reflection (preliminary survey), plan activities and act to solve problems faced by students,
make observations and make reflections after each activity was carried out. Students’
achievement was analyzed through pre-test and post-test.



4 Reflect Plan 2

Action and

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) Action Research Model


4.0 Research Objectives

The main objectives of this action research are to:
1. Enhance inquiry-based learning in mathematics.
2. Improve students’ skills in solving real-world problems by using mathematical

5.0 Target groups
This research involved a total of 15 students of the One Year Program from Module 1,

S1T8 Semester Two Session 2020/2021 at Kedah Matriculation College. A total of 8 female
students and 7 male students in this class.

6.0 Planning and execution of actions

6.1 Pre-test
At the planning stage, pre-test was implemented for S1T8 students. This pre-test

contained one real-world problem. The question was given in the form of word problem.
Students were given 20 minutes to complete the given question (Appendix 1). Pre-test results
were recorded and analyzed to categorize students according to performance level (Appendix
2). In addition, the results of this pre-test were used as criteria for researcher to determine the
action research sample. The samples of this action research are students who get a grade of C
and below. Students’ result in the pre-test are analyzed in Table 2.

Pre-test Analysis Pre-test result
Percentage (%) Grade Performance level
Table 2: Pre-test Analysis
25 F Fail
No Student 44 F Fail
20 F Fail
1 Student A 50 F Fail
2 Student B 50 F Fail
3 Student C 36 F Fail
4 Student D 70 D Passing
5 Student E 80 B Good
6 Student F
7 Student G 5
8 Student H

9 Student I 76 C Satisfactory
10 Student J 33 F Fail
11 Student K 74 D Passing
12 Student L 46 F Fail
13 Student M 42 F Fail
14 Student N 54 F Fail
15 Student O 48 F Fail

Student: Students who get a grade of C and below in the pre-test who need to be given more
focus in action research (action research sample).

The results of the pre-test showed a total of 14 students that is 93% of students need more
attention in this action research. Among these 14 students, one (7%) got satisfactory level, two
of the students (13%) in the level of passing and 11 of the students (73%) fail in the pre-test.
There was no student in the level of excellent. Only one student (7%) got a level of good.
Analysis of this pre-test results can be shown with a pie chart.

Excellent Good
0% 7% Satisfactory


Chart 1: Analysis of pre-test result.

Pre-test Reflection
From the researcher’s observation, the students were not confident in answering the pre-

test question. 80% of students answered the question by guessing. Most of their answering time
was wasted in the process of guessing and the act of uncertainty that was writing and deleting
written answers.


6.2 Intervention (Mathematical Modelling)
In the next tutorial class, the researcher implemented teaching and learning by using

the inquiry-based learning approach. Researcher guides students to create mathematical model
in solving real-world problem in chapter Functions and Graph. Inquiry-based learning uses
questions to provide context of learning. Researcher as a guidance that values and builds upon
students’ reasoning (technique of Scaffolding). Students make hypothesis based on their
experience. Researcher applies the structured inquiry to guide students the steps of
mathematical modelling to solve real-world problem. At the end of the intervention, students
present their results as the process of communication of results. Mathematical modelling plays
an important role in helping students understand and explore the meaning of equations or
functional relationship.

Using mathematics to solve real world problem (Planning for inquiry)
In creating inquiry mathematical model, researcher gaves a prompt to students by asking

students watch the video of Volcanoes 101 (especially 0.14 till 0.18 minutes) Researcher uses questioning approach to encourage
students’ thinking. The question that can become a prompt for students' thinking and reasoning
is: “What do you already know that might be useful for our lesson?” Students are given time
to respond based on their experiences (technique of Scaffolding). The the video and question
are stimulus to inquiry that can spark curiousity and questioning and encourage students to rise
above themselves. Researcher gaves a word problem (Figure 2) to students and guide the
students to create mathematical modelling steps by steps. Questions that can encourage
students' thinking and reasoning in step 1 are: “How we can solve it mathematically?” and
“How to form formula?”


Figure 2: Word problem during intervention
The researcher emphasizes the mathematical concepts to be used in mathematical
modelling and also the steps of creating mathematical modelling. The slide of explanation
shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Mathematical Modelling Criteria
In the step 1 for the formulation of the problem, it started by stating the question. Students
interpret data and analyse the problem. Secondly, students identifying the relevant factors. In
this stage, students assign and define variables from the problem. Students will be able to get
mathematical description at the end of step 1. Step 1 is under the mathematical word. Questions
that can encourage students' thinking and reasoning in Step 1 are: “How we can solve it
mathematically?” and “How to form formula?”


Step of finding the solution is Step 2 that still under mathematical world. Students solve
the mathematical equation using suitable method. Step 3 is under the real world. Students need
to do interpretation of the solution in Step 3. Question that enhances students’ thinking and
reasoning in Step 3 is “What can you interprete from the solution in Step 2?” Students
communicate their solutions by relating the problem with the context of the real-world
problem. Researcher use the questioning approach to guide students to complete the cycle of
mathematical modelling. Example: “How you can relate the finding to daily life?”

Intervention reflection
Students involved actively in the process of creating mathematical modelling in solving

real-world problem. The steps involving mathematical concepts able to guide students to
construct understanding of problem solving. Students become confident after the intervention.
Inquiry-based learning approaches successfully transform rote learning into learning that can
help students understand and explore the meaning of equations or functional relationship.

6.3 Post-test
Post-test was performed after one week of creating mathematical modelling in solving

real-world problem. Question in the post-test in the form same like pre-test but the values in
the question changed (Appendix 3). The time to answer the post-test is 20 minutes. Post-test
results are recorded and analyzed according to performance level. The results of the post-test
are shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Post test Analysis Post-test result
Percentage (%) Grade Performance level
No Student
84 B Good
1 Student A 96 A Excellent
2 Student B 85 B Good
3 Student C 86 B Good
4 Student D 92 A Excellent
5 Student E 96 A Excellent
6 Student F 88 B Good
7 Student G 96 A Excellent
8 Student H 90 A Excellent
9 Student I 92 A Excellent
10 Student J 84 B Good
11 Student K 98 A Excellent
12 Student L 82 B Good
13 Student M

14 Student N 90 A Excellent
15 Student O 86 B Good

Student: Students who get a grade above grade C in the post-test

The results of the post-test showed that 100% of the S1T8 students got an excellent
and good level of performance. 53.33% of the students, that is 8 students achieved an excellent
level of performance. A total of 7 students (46.67%) in the level of good performance. All
students showed improvement in their performance in the post-test. This gives an interpretation
that the intervention of creating mathematical modelling in problem solving can help to achieve
the objectives of this action research.

Fail Passing
0% 0% Satisfactory

Good Excellent
47% 53%

Carta 2: Analysis of the post-test result.

Post-test Reflection
Researcher was able to feel the difference in the atmosphere during the pre-test and

post-test. From the observations, the students showed high enthusiasm and confidence while
answering the post-test question. Students were no longer confused in solving test question.
All students were able to complete the post-test question in the allotted time. There were 80%
of the students (12 students) submit the post-test question completion papers in less than the
allotted time. This indicates that students can answer the question quickly and accurately. From
the results of the post-test, it was found that the students were able to understand the question
and using accurate methods in mathematical modelling in solving real-world problem.


Comparison of pre-test and post-test

Table 4: Percentage of students by level of performance in pre-test and post-test

Level of Percentage (%)
Before the intervention After the intervention
Good (Pre-test) (Post-test)
Passing 0 53
7 47


13 0

73 0

Table 4 showed a comparison of the percentage of students by level of performance in
pre-test and post-test. This percentage data showed that the number of students who obtained
excellent and good performance level increased dramatically. This indicates that the
intervention of creating mathematical modelling in solving real-world problem is successful in
improving students’ performance in chapter Function and Graph. Researcher has successfully
inculcated inquiry-based learning among students. A comparison of pre-test and post-test
percentage is shown using a bar chart.

Percentage (%) Comparison of Pre-test and Post-test

80 47 73
60 53 7 7 13 0
50 Good 0 0
40 Fail Performance
30 Satisfactory Passing level
10 0


Pre-test Post-test

Carta 3: Comparison of pre-test and post-test percentage

Researcher repeat the same cycle until students mastering the mathematical modelling
steps. Researcher gaves students question of quadratic function in daily life to enhance


students’ skills in solving mathematical problem by using mathematical modelling approach
(Appendix 4).

7.0 Overall Reflection of the Research

7.1 Research Reflections on Students
The results of pre-test and post-test showed that 100% of students are able to improve

their performance in post-test. In addition, the results of the post-test showed an encouraging
improvement that all students were at the level of excellent and good performance. There were
no students in grade C and below. This indicates that the objectives of this action research have
been achieved. These improvements indicate that researcher successfully instilled inquiry-
based learning in the intervention and increased the skill of mathematical problem solving
among students by using mathematical modelling.

Students also showed confidence in learning after the intervention was implemented
in the tutorial class. Students showed encouraging enthusiasm in using GeoGebra open-source
software to check their final answer. This interactive teaching and learning process allows
students to cultivate noble values in learning such as working together, helping each other,
caring for friends and self-confidence.

7.2 Research Reflections on Researcher
Overall, this action research achieved the objectives as proposed at the beginning of

the research. Students can improve their performance through inquiry-based learning approach.
Researcher was pleased to see students’ result increase dramatically in post-test. All students
especially 14 students who needed more attention in this action research showed encouraging
performance improvement in the post-test. These results gave enthusiasm and confidence to
researcher to implement inquiry-based learning in solving real-world mathematical problem.

Researcher felt happy and satisfied when she saw students’ results improved in post-
test. Besides that, the active and positive reactions of students during teaching and learning
using mathematical modelling in solving mathematical problem shown that they were very
interested in the inquiry-based learning approach. Researcher are eager to share inquiry-based
learning by creating mathematical modelling with other fellow lecturers in view of the
encouraging reactions and performance improvements among students.


7.3 Reflections on Teaching and Learning Process
Researcher was able to experience a cheerful and interactive atmosphere in the

classroom when implementing inquiry-based learning in the class. Inquiry-based learning is a
good practice to encourage students remain active and positive in classroom learning. This
situation helps students increase enthusiasm and confidence in learning mathematical
especially in solving real-world problem. Therefore, inquiry-based learning by creating
mathematical modelling is recommended to be applied by other lecturers in their teaching and
learning in order to help students master the skills of mathematical modelling in solving
mathematical problem.

8.0 Conclusion
The researcher hopes that the sharing of the findings of this action research not only

able to help students in improving their learning performance but also can help other lecturers
to apply it in their respective classes.

STEM needs to be inculcated in teaching and learning so that lecturers do not lag behind
the current’s educational development towards the 4.0 Industrial Revolution. Learning become
fun and easy if students are interested and love it. Lecturers need to use the right strategies to
produce students who are able to make wise decisions, think critically, generate Higher Order
Thinking Skills (HOTs) and be able to apply them in their daily life. The ingenuity and
excellence of the lecturers in the classroom is essential to make teaching and learning effective
and efficient.


Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge and action research.

Australia: Deakin University Press.
Fibonacci. (2012). Inquiry in Mathematics Education. http://fibonacci.uni- resources-for-implementing-inquiry.html
Giordano, F. R., Fox, W. P., & Horton, S. B. (2008). A first course in mathematical modeling.

(4th Ed.). Brooks/Cole.
Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (1988). The action research planner. Victoria, Australia: Deakin

University Press.
KPM. (2012a). Dasar Pendidikan Kebangsaan, Putrajaya: Bahagian Perancangan dan

Penyelidikan Dasar Pendidikan.
Othman, L. (2014). Kajian tindakan dalam pendidikan – teori dan amalan (Cetakan Keempat

ed.). Tanjung Malim, Penerbit Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.
Schoenfeld, A. (1985). Mathematical Problem Solving. Academic Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes,

(M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner & E. Souberman, Eds. and trans.). Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press.



Appendix 1:
Pre-test question

When a volcano erupts it can shoot pyroclastic bombs from its cone. The maximum distance
that a bomb can shoot varies jointly with the initial velocity squared of the bomb as it leaves
the cone and inversely with gravity.

(a) Express the distance a bomb may travel as a function of .
(b) Find (30), (50).

Appendix 2: Gred Tahap Prestasi
A Excellent
Grading Scale B Good
C Satisfactory
Marks D Passing
90 – 100 F Fail
80 – 89
75 – 79
70 – 74
69 & Below

Appendix 3:
Post-test question

When a volcano erupts it can shoot pyroclastic bombs from its cone. The maximum distance
that a bomb can shoot varies jointly with the initial velocity squared of the bomb as it leaves
the cone and inversely with gravity.

(a) Express the distance a bomb may travel as a function of .
(b) Find (40), (70).


Appendix 4:

Structured Inquiry question

A rectangular piece of cardboard measuring 40 in. by 30 in. is to be made into an open box with a
base (bottom) of 900 ! by cutting equal squares from the four corners and then bending up the
sides. Find, to the nearest tenth of an inch, the length of the side of the square that must be cut
from each corner.


30 30



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