The effects of a computerized-algebra program on mathematics achievement of college and university freshmen enrolled in a developmental mathematics course
Taylor, Judy M.
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We face a world in which a college degree increasingly dictates the likelihood of life success. At the same time, there has been an ever-increasing population of students who have not been prepared adequately through their high school education to meet the rigors of college/university-level content. This problem can be seen in the number of students needing Intermediate Algebra. Students who complete remedial courses with a grade of C or better are more likely to pass their first college-level mathematics course and continue their education until they have completed all coursework needed for a degree. Students entering colleges and universities underprepared for collegiate mathematics, reading, and writing have reached epidemic proportions, with 30% of the students needing remediation in one of these areas. A portion of this problem has been identified as mathematics anxiety. Because students have habituated mathematics failure, they are aware of their deficiencies, but still desire a college education. They bring with them years of negative emotions from repeated mathematics failures. These years of negative feelings about mathematics precipitated by repeated failures are often manifested as mathematics anxiety that must be addressed in order to improve students?????? content knowledge. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a web-based technology centric course, Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), on the remediation of college freshmen enrolled in an Intermediate Algebra class as compared to college freshmen enrolled in an Intermediate Algebra class taught using a traditional lecture method. Mathematics anxiety and attitude toward mathematics will also be investigated to determine if ALEKS can lower the anxiety associated with mathematics, as well as improve attitudes. An algebra test, mathematics anxiety rating scale, and mathematics attitude test was given to both groups of students at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. The overall findings of this research suggested that ALEKS Intermediate Algebra students performed as well as the Control group taking a class in Intermediate Algebra taught by lecture. The anxiety of the Experimental group decreased more than the Control group, and the Experimental group??????s attitude toward mathematics increased at a greater rate than did the Control group.