Christine Kim

Date of Graduation


Document Type



The present study evaluated the differences between three methods of reviewing basic algebra skills. Five component rules were trained: the use of four laws of exponents and a combination rule that included simplifying mathematical expressions (i.e., “order of operations”) and perfect squares. All methods used the same procedures to teach the rules and included review sessions interspersed among the training of the individual rules. The differences among methods involved the kinds of practice provided during the review sessions. The simple review group (n = 12) received extra questions on each rule learned. The nonrandom cumulative review group (n = 12) received questions covering all rules learned prior to a review session, but questions for each rule were separated across worksheets. The cumulative review group (n = 12) received questions covering a random mix of all rules learned prior to each review session. Three training outcomes were measured: application, problem solving, and retention. Results indicated that both cumulative review procedures produce problem solving. Further, the data suggest that extra practice alone has minimal impact on problem solving. In addition, the results for the lowest performing students on the problem-solving items of the retention test suggest that random mix of items within the cumulative review may be important for students with poor mathematics skills.