Date of Graduation
This experiment examined the impact of an enhanced graphic postorganizer on the amount of learning and retention college students realized from mathematics lectures given during a full semester. The study was a quasi-experiment in which intact classes of intermediate algebra students with similar mathematical backgrounds either completed the written postorganizer developed for the experiment after each lecture or took a quiz over the same lecture. The postorganizer emphasized concepts, definitions, relationships and student-developed explanations rather than procedures. The planned difference among the groups was the amount of involvement that the students had with the postorganizer. Students in the four groups had low (Group 1), high (Group 2), moderate (Group 3), or no involvement (Control) with the postorganizer. Tests of comprehension were given at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. While the size of the mean gain between the tests increased as the amount of involvement that the students had with the postorganizer increased, the differences among the groups were not significant. As a measure of long-term retention, grades were collected from the next mathematics course taken by students from the four groups. The students who completed the postorganizers earned significantly higher grades in mathematics courses taken subsequent to the completion of the experiment than the students who did not. Merely having students complete a postorganizer after each lecture without providing students with any corresponding feedback, as in Group 1, produced no immediate satisfactory results. While the moderate amount of feedback that occurred in Group 3 produced a posttest mean and a pretest to posttest mean gain that was higher than the control group it failed to produce any significant differences when compared to the control group. Of the three experimental groups, Group 2 produced the most promising results. Students in Group 2 had the lowest percentage of absences, the highest posttest mean, the largest pretest to posttest mean gain, the only significant male and female difference on gain, and the only significant difference between traditional and nontraditional students on gain of the four groups. Only in Group 2 did the majority of the students believe that using the postorganizer had been beneficial.
Mitchell, Karen E., "The effect of postorganizers on mathematics achievement following lectures." (1999). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9435.