Prediction of Community College Students' Success in Developmental Math with Traditional Classroom, Computer-Based On-Campus and Computer-Based at a Distance Instruction Using Locus of Control, Math Anxiety and Learning Style
Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between individual student differences and academic success in three pedagogical methods (traditional classroom, computer-aided instruction (CAI) in an on-campus setting, and CAI in a distance education setting) for developmental mathematics classes at the community college level. Locus of control, math anxiety and learning style were the individual differences examined. Final grade, final exam score and persistence were the indicators of success. The literature review focused on developmental mathematics, pedagogical techniques and variables contributing to academic performance. Two parallel research populations consisted of 135 Beginning Algebra students and 113 Intermediate Algebra students. The Rotter I-E Locus of Control Scale, the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale, the 4MAT Learning Type Measure, and an instrument to gather demographic data were used. It was the conclusion of this study that the instructional methods were not equal with respect to achievement. In Beginning Algebra, the CAI students received significantly higher final grades than did the traditionally taught students. In Intermediate Algebra traditional students scored significantly higher on the final exam than did the CBI students. There were more students persisting than expected in traditionally taught Beginning Algebra and no significant difference in attrition in Intermediate Algebra. There was no significant prediction of achievement in Beginning Algebra. For Intermediate Algebra math anxiety was a significant predictor for final exam percentage and locus of control was a significant predictor for final grade percentage. Only the instructional method contributed significantly to the prediction of attrition. While these findings are statistically significant, they account for only a small part of student success. However, the results had implications for the future. In particular, further study should be given to the question of whether CAI, and its associated expenses, is prudent for developmental mathematics instruction.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Blackner, Deborah Martin