Degree of: Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Public Affairs and Administration
Title: Effectiveness of Teaching Modalities for Pre-College Level Mathematics Courses
Committee: Dr. Barbara Liggett, Chair
Dr. Keon-Hyung Lee
Dr. Alan Walker
Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2004 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 112 E. Walwood Hall, Walwood Commons
Abstract: College educators are challenged with providing students with choices of teaching modalities that facilitate student achievement and success at a time when students are also seeking flexible scheduling and accommodation of their differing learning styles. This is certainly the case for college students who need to demonstrate proficiency for the content in pre-college level mathematics courses prior to enrolling in college-level mathematics courses. The term “pre-college level” is defined as courses in reading, writing, and mathematics for college students lacking those skills necessary to perform college-level coursework at two- or four-year college institutions (Parsad & Lewis, 2003).
Do certain teaching modalities help or hinder student achievement and success? What factors contribute to student achievement and success in pre-college level mathematics courses at a community college? To answer these questions, a mixed quantitative and qualitative study was designed to compare the effectiveness of a traditional teaching modality that involved 4 hours per week of lecture over 15 weeks and a hybrid teaching modality that involved 2 hours of lecture per week combined with student participation with interactive computer software modules over 15 weeks. Factors associated with student achievement and success in pre-college level mathematics courses were also examined. Eighty-six of 208 students participated in the study.
No significant difference in student achievement or success was found between students who experienced the traditional or hybrid teaching modalities for pre-college level mathematics courses in this study. Successful course completion was significantly associated with students 25 years of age or older; moderate, high, or very high levels of comfort with mathematics; and moderate, high, or very high levels of ability to complete a project once begun. Contrary to findings in the literature, successful course completion for students in this study was not adversely impacted by part time student status or by working 30 or more hours per week. Additional information from this study revealed that 63% of students expressed a belief that computer usage contributes to their learning in college. Computer usage was not identified in the literature as a factor that contributed to a successful college experience for students.
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