Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department name when degree awarded
James P. Shaver
Many universities and colleges have a considerable number of students enroll whose entrance examination scores indicate deficiencies in high school and pre-high school mathematics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of programed texts, as compared with conventional procedures, for teaching basic mathematics to remedial mathematics students. The effects of mental ability, study skills and attitudes on achievement through the use of programed texts also carne under investigation.
For one quarter an experimental group of 73 subjects used a set of three linear programed texts for their sole mode of instruction in mathematics. A control group of 58 subjects were taught the same content material by traditional lecture-discussion procedures.
At the beginning of the 1965 Fall quarter, the subjects were given a mental ability test, a study skills and attitude survey and a standardized mathematics pretest. The subjects' scores on these three measures served as covariates for a covariance analysis of the mathematics posttest scores. Analysis of variance showed no significant differences (NSD) between the means of the experimental and control groups scores on the mathematics posttest. However, analysis of covariance showed a significant mean score difference in favor of the experimental group for the questions pertaining to mathematics fundamentals (computation) and NSD for the questions pertaining to reasoning (problem solving) . The experimental group went from a mathematics pretest mean score grade placement of about 8.5 to a mathematics posttest mean score grade placement of about 10.5. The control group went from a mathematics pretest mean score grade placement of about 9.0 to a mathematics posttest mean score grade placement of about 10.5. The two different teaching methods did not bring about significant differences in the variability of the subjects' mathematics test scores.
The correlation between mental ability scores and mathematics test scores was moderate (about .50). As would be expected, the correlation between mathematics pretest and posttest scores was high (about .80). The correlation between study skills scores and mathematics test scores was low (about .26 for the experimental group and about .04 for the control group).
Individual rates of progress, made possible by programed texts, enabled a considerable number of students in the experimental group to complete the equivalent of a quarter's study in basic mathematics in less than a quarter's time.
A survey questionnaire concerning interest and attitude of the subjects toward mathematics, programed instruction and the remedial mathematics course was given at the end of the quarter in which the study was conducted. Chi-square analysis of the responses to the questions generally showed the subjects' responses were independent of the type of instruction they had received.
The subjects were also asked to comment on what they thought were the most favorable characteristics of the course and what they thought were the least favorable characteristics of the course. The favorable comment listed most frequently by control subjects pertained to the slow group pace. They explained that it was the slow pace, coupled with a very understanding instructor, which enabled them to learn mathematics which they had missed in high school. However, it was also the slow group pace which drew the most number of control subjects' responses as to what they liked least about the course. The favorable comment listed most frequently by the subjects who learned from programed texts pertained to the opportunity the programed texts had provided for each student to progress at his own rate. The unfavorable comment listed most frequently by the programed learning group pertained to no teacher-student interaction and no class discussion when programed texts were used.
White, Charles C., "The Use of Programmed Texts for Remedial Mathematics Instruction in College" (1969). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 2906.
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