Date of Graduation
This study investigated the effects of resequencing topics in college algebra. In resequencing, functions and graphing were introduced in the beginning and used throughout the course to facilitate analytical and graphical connections among topics. The study involved three intact sectionsâ€”one experimental group and two control groups, each taught by a different instructor. The experimental group followed the resequenced curriculum; the two control groups followed the traditional curriculum as found in a standard text. All three groups used the same text. The experimental group (n = 19) and one of the control groups (n = 33) used a lecture/discussion approach and no technology, while the other control group (n = 31) utilized cooperative learning and graphing calculators. A qualitative component examined students' beliefs about mathematics and learning mathematics, and attitudes towards resequencing. The change in sequencing between the groups began after a review of the fundamentals of algebra covered in chapter 1. An examination on chapter 1 material measured the student's initial algebraic ability; a final comprehensive examination measured the student's overall achievement in the course. A process-type problem on the pretest measured the student's initial ability to make mathematical connections; a question on the final examination measured the student's understanding defined in terms of the student's ability to make connections in learning. All examinations were constructed and graded cooperatively by the three instructors. Qualitative measures involved a beliefs questionnaire, observations, and interviews. ANCOVA models were used in analyzing the quantitative data. There was no significant difference between the sequencing types in overall achievement. There was a significant difference between the sequencing groups on the measure of relational understanding, in favor of the resequenced group. On the final comprehensive examination, the mean score of the experimental group was greater than that of the control groups. A sub-hypothesis examining differences in the learning environments between the two control groups, indicated a significant difference in overall achievement in favor of the cooperative learning-graphing calculator group. Overall, students defined understanding and effort in mathematics in terms of memorizing steps and procedures. Results indicated that resequencing did not adversely affect students' overall performance or attitudes towards mathematics.
Skocik, Nancy A., "Resequencing topics college algebra." (1999). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9783.