This study examined the effectiveness of an alternative approach in solving mathematical problems specifically in Differential Calculus of engineering students of the Technological Institute of the Philippines, Quezon City. In getting the sample, the probability sampling categorized as cluster sampling was used.
The information needed for these 60 respondents were obtained from the records in the Math and Physics Department and a survey questionnaire was administered. A random follow-up interview of the respondents was conducted to gain more insights on the responses gathered. Percentage, Mean, Mode and Paired t-test were used to obtain the necessary information in generating the results and conclusion of the study.
The effectiveness of the alternative approach in solving the mathematical problems was determined using Paired t-test. Both treatment and control groups had improved their scores from pretest to post test. The treatment group that used the heuristic strategy of solving problems has a greater gain in score than those who used the algorithm strategy. The mean pretest score of treatment group (67.63%) has no significant difference with the mean score of control group (67.42%). Using 99% confidence interval, the t-value of pretest (-0.110) in both groups shows also that there is no significant difference between their scores. Whereas, the mean posttest score of the treatment group (76.43%) was significantly higher than the mean posttest score of the control group (70.60%). The computed t-value of posttest (-3.045) shows that the score of two groups is significantly different.
Based on the findings and results gathered, this research have the reason to believe that there is a significant difference between the academic performance of the students who use the heuristic and algorithm strategy in solving the mathematical problems. It also shows the effectiveness of the heuristic method that is visible in the academic performance of the students.
Finally, performing alternative approach in teaching and learning Mathematics subject is highly recommended for both educators and students.