Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor/Chair:

Kady Schneiter

Co-Advisor/Chair:

James Cangelosi

Third Advisor:

Nathan Geer

Abstract

Recent scientific evidence shows the incredible potential of the brain to grow and change. Students with a growth mindset view errors and obstacles as opportunities for growth. These students welcome challenges and the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Although some university instructors are incorporating growth mindset into their lectures, attitudes, and exams in small classes, the traditional exam method used in large lecture undergraduate mathematics classrooms follows a fixed mindset model. The growth mindset structured assessments developed for this study incorporate a testing center portion (matching, short answer, fill in the blank and free response) with structured rework opportunities, a written portion with peer reviews, and a group portion.

The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between (1) large lecture college algebra undergraduate growth mindset structured assessments and (2) students’ achievement, drop/fail/withdraw rates, mindsets, and anxiety. This relationship is determined using the final exam scores, the withdraw and fail rates, and the responses from a Likert scale survey and a Qualtrics free response survey. No statistically significant difference in mean final exam scores was found, however, withdrawal and fail rates were lower for the class participating in the growth mindset structured assessments than the control classes. Lower levels of math test anxiety and higher levels of growth mindset were demonstrated in the class participating in the growth mindset structured assessments.

Checksum

2940ab810c744449878732c194a18320

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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