Date of Award:

1973

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Ross R. Allen

Abstract

Problem

This study was concerned with the effectiveness of two different programs for teaching remedial mathematics to community college students. An individualized instruction program, making use of independent study and the small group setting, was compared with the traditional lecture-textbook instruction program to determine if there existed significant differences in (a) the rate of attrition, and (b) mathematics performance. A secondary objective was to determine if significant differences existed between students enrolled in remedial mathematics classes at 9 AM and those enrolled at 12 Noon.


Method

The target population consisted of all students in fourteen community colleges in the Los Angeles area. The sample consisted of all students enrolled in the 9 AM and 12 Noon elementary algebra classes at Rio Hondo College during the fall semester, 1972. One experimental group and one control group were randomly formed from all the students enrolled at 9 AM. The same procedure was used at 12 Noon.

The posttest-only control group design was utilized in the study. A chisquare test was used to determine if frequency of dropout is associated with being in the control or experimental groups. Mean scores on a mathematics posttest of achievement were analyzed by two -way analysis of covariance to determine if mathematics performance is associated with being in the control or experimental groups, and if mathematics performance is associated with being in the 9 AM or 12 Noon classes.

Results

According to the study, there appeared to be no significant differences, at the .05 level, in either the rate of attrition or mathematics performance of community college students taught remedial mathematics under an individualized instruction program as compared with those students taught under the traditional lecture-textbook instruction program. Also, there appeared to be no significant difference, at the .05 level, in the mathematics performance of community college students enrolled in 9 AM remedial mathematics classes compared to students enrolled in 12 Noon remedial mathematics classes.

Conclusions

As a result of the findings of this study, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. Community college remedial mathematics classes using an individualized instruction program as described in this study did not have significantly fewer dropouts than those classes using the traditional lecture-textbook approach.

  2. Community college students enrolled in remedial mathematics courses taught under an individualized instruction program as described in this study did not receive significantly higher scores on a mathematics posttest of achievement than those students taught under the traditional lecture-textbook instruction program.

  3. There was no significant difference in mathematics performance of community college students enrolled in remedial mathematics courses taught at 9 AM and those taught at 12 Noon.

The study, even though the results did not show significant differences at the .05 level, proved to be very helpful in planning for further mathematics classes at the community college.

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