Some effects of grouping by subject matter major on student performance in college calculus Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fb494b821

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  • This investigation was designed to determine the general achievement, ability to solve applied problems, and attitude toward the role of mathematics in science of college calculus students grouped in an experimental class according to academic major during their first three terms. The subgroups were biology-business, mathematics, and science-engineering majors. The effects of grouping upon these abilities and attitude were examined by comparing group mean test scores of the grouped students to those of a non-grouped control class. Subgroups between and within the control and experimental groups were compared in order to further assess the effects of grouping on calculus achievement, ability to solve applied problems and attitude toward the role of mathematics in science. Criterion tests were the Cooperative Calculus Test, Form B, the Applied Problem Test and the Math-Science Attitude Inventory, the latter two constructed by the researcher. Since the study was a post-test only design, the criterion instruments were administered to the control and experimental groups at the end of their respective Spring terms. One factor analysis of covariance using CCT and APT group means was used to statistically test the null hypotheses. Combined overall high school and mathematics grade point averages were applied as covariant control for academic achievement and ability. One factor analysis of variance using MSAI group means was used to statistically test the remaining null hypotheses, F ratios were computed and evaluated to determine whether differences in group means on the criterion instruments were significant. The data were further analyzed to determine correlations among several variables. Findings The following conclusions were drawn from the data analyzed in this investigation: 1. Grouping college calculus students by academic major resulted in significantly (10 and 20 percent levels) greater calculus achievement and ability to solve applied problems by the experimental group, 2. Subgroups of the experimental group did not consistently differ significantly from subgroups of the control group in calculus achievement nor in ability to solve applied problems. 3. Subgroups within the control group exhibited marked differences in calculus achievement and ability to solve applied problems. 4. Subgroups within the experimental group did not exhibit significant differences in calculus achievement nor ability to solve applied problems. 5. The control and experimental group did not differ significantly in their attitude toward the role of mathematics in science. 6. Mathematics majors in calculus have a more positive attitude toward the role of mathematics in science than do science or biology-business majors. 7. The MSAI effectively measures the attitude of calculus students toward the role of mathematics in science. 8. The APT effectively measures the ability of calculus students to solve applied problems. 9. Team teaching at the college level can effectively be designed and implemented.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using ScandAll PRO 1.8.1 on a Fi-6770A in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 5.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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