Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Mathematics (MMath)


Mathematics and Statistics

Committee Chair(s)

Brynja Kohler


James Cangelosi


John Stevens


In secondary math classrooms there has been a movement toward discovery and problem solving based instruction. This type of instruction requires teachers to teach on what is often considered a higher level of cognition and allows students to discover more ideas and concepts on their own as opposed to traditional lecture style. Teachers with well thought-out examples, questions, and activities provide students with tools to solve problems on their own requiring students to make mathematical discoveries and connections. These skills not only benefit students in their math class but are analytical skills students can use throughout their lives.

With this change in instruction style there is also a push to change the method of assessment used in classrooms. Tests should require more of students than simple memorization of ideas and steps, the test should provide an opportunity for students to show the discoveries and connections they have made. It is also important that assessments be effective in measuring and determining what students have learned or have not learned relevant to the teacher’s objectives and concepts that have been taught. In this study, test items will be evaluated using known methods for judging item effectiveness.