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  1. Eng Technol Res

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Research Article

Engineering and Technology Research 1(3): 083-088, July 2019
DOI: 10.15413/etr.2019.0100

ISSN: 2682 5716
2019 Academia Publishing

Abstract

 

 

Students’ difficulties of understanding exponents and exponential expressions

 

 

Accepted 17th July, 2019

 
Dejene Girma Denbel

Department of Mathematics, Dilla University, P. O. Box 419 Dilla, Ethiopia.

 

 

The aim of this particular investigation was to find out persistent errors that students encounter when simplifying a given exponential expressions as well as to understand possible reasons such errors make. Fifty-six University students taking the course mathematics for geographer in Dilla University, Ethiopia were asked to simplify exponential expressions during their course assessment. A quantitative data analysis carried out on their work. Thus it was found that incomplete understanding of the concept of negative (-) was the root cause for most students’ errors and misconceptions. In the present study, basic exponential rules were associated with negativity either as not properly perceived or wrongly interpreted by the students. Based on the result, it is recommended that students must develop basic concepts with understanding of additive inverse and multiplicative inverse to develop a more abstract understanding of negative operations in algebraic expression. Moreover, it is useful for students taking a similar course to understand laws of exponents involving negativity.

Key words: Exponentiation, negative numbers, concept image, additive inverse, multiplicative inverse.
 

Cite this article as:
Denbel DG (2019). Students’ difficulties of understanding exponents and exponential expressions. Eng. Technol. Res. 1(3): 083-088.


This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




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