You are here
An Exploratory Comparison of a Traditional and an Adaptive Instructional Approach for College Algebra
 Date Issued:
 2015
 Abstract/Description:
 This research effort compared student learning gains and attitudinal changes through the implementation of two varying instructional approaches on the topic of functions in College Algebra. Attitudinal changes were measured based on the Attitude Towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI). The ATMI also provided four subscales scores for selfconfidence, value of learning, enjoyment, and motivation. Furthermore, this research explored and compared relationships between students' level of mastery and their actual level of learning. This study implemented a quasiexperimental research design using a sample that consisted of 56 College Algebra students in a public, state college in Florida. The sample was enrolled in one of two College Algebra sections, in which one section followed a selfadaptive instructional approach using ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Space) and the other section followed a traditional approach using MyMathLab. Learning gains in each class were measured as the difference between the pretest and posttest scores on the topic of functions in College Algebra. Attitude changes in each class were measured as the difference between the holistic scores on the ATMI, as well as each of the four subscale scores, which was administered once in the beginning of the semester and again after the unit of functions, approximately eight weeks into the course. Utilizing an independent ttest, results indicated that there was not a significant difference in actual learning gains for the compared instructional approaches. Additionally, independent ttest results indicated that there was not a statistical difference for attitude change holistically and on each of the four subscales for the compared instructional approaches. However, correlational analyses revealed a strong relationship between students' level of mastery learning and their actual learning level for each class with the selfadaptive instructional approach having a stronger correlation than the nonadaptive section, as measured by an rtoz Fisher transformation test. The results of this study indicate that the selfadaptive instructional approach using ALEKS could more accurately report students' true level of learning compared to a nonadaptive instructional approach. Overall, this study found the compared instructional approaches to be equivalent in terms of learning and effect on students' attitude. While not statistically different, the results of this study have implications for math educators, instructional designers, and software developers. For example, a nonadaptive instructional approach can be equivalent to a selfadaptive instructional approach in terms of learning with appropriate planning and design. Future recommendations include further case studies of selfadaptive technology in developmental and college mathematics in other modalities such as hybrid or online courses. Also, this study should be replicated on a larger scale with other selfadaptive math software in addition to focusing on other student populations, such as K  12. There is much potential for intelligent tutoring to supplement different instructional approaches, but should not be viewed as a replacement for teachertostudent interactions.
Title:  An Exploratory Comparison of a Traditional and an Adaptive Instructional Approach for College Algebra. 
7 views
2 downloads 

Name(s): 
Kasha, Ryan, Author Kincaid, John, Committee Chair Wiegand, Rudolf, Committee Member Hartshorne, Richard, Committee Member Morris, Cliff, Committee Member University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor 

Type of Resource:  text  
Date Issued:  2015  
Publisher:  University of Central Florida  
Language(s):  English  
Abstract/Description:  This research effort compared student learning gains and attitudinal changes through the implementation of two varying instructional approaches on the topic of functions in College Algebra. Attitudinal changes were measured based on the Attitude Towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI). The ATMI also provided four subscales scores for selfconfidence, value of learning, enjoyment, and motivation. Furthermore, this research explored and compared relationships between students' level of mastery and their actual level of learning. This study implemented a quasiexperimental research design using a sample that consisted of 56 College Algebra students in a public, state college in Florida. The sample was enrolled in one of two College Algebra sections, in which one section followed a selfadaptive instructional approach using ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Space) and the other section followed a traditional approach using MyMathLab. Learning gains in each class were measured as the difference between the pretest and posttest scores on the topic of functions in College Algebra. Attitude changes in each class were measured as the difference between the holistic scores on the ATMI, as well as each of the four subscale scores, which was administered once in the beginning of the semester and again after the unit of functions, approximately eight weeks into the course. Utilizing an independent ttest, results indicated that there was not a significant difference in actual learning gains for the compared instructional approaches. Additionally, independent ttest results indicated that there was not a statistical difference for attitude change holistically and on each of the four subscales for the compared instructional approaches. However, correlational analyses revealed a strong relationship between students' level of mastery learning and their actual learning level for each class with the selfadaptive instructional approach having a stronger correlation than the nonadaptive section, as measured by an rtoz Fisher transformation test. The results of this study indicate that the selfadaptive instructional approach using ALEKS could more accurately report students' true level of learning compared to a nonadaptive instructional approach. Overall, this study found the compared instructional approaches to be equivalent in terms of learning and effect on students' attitude. While not statistically different, the results of this study have implications for math educators, instructional designers, and software developers. For example, a nonadaptive instructional approach can be equivalent to a selfadaptive instructional approach in terms of learning with appropriate planning and design. Future recommendations include further case studies of selfadaptive technology in developmental and college mathematics in other modalities such as hybrid or online courses. Also, this study should be replicated on a larger scale with other selfadaptive math software in addition to focusing on other student populations, such as K  12. There is much potential for intelligent tutoring to supplement different instructional approaches, but should not be viewed as a replacement for teachertostudent interactions.  
Identifier:  CFE0005963 (IID), ucf:50821 (fedora)  
Note(s): 
20151201 Ph.D. Sciences, Dean's Office GRDST Doctoral This record was generated from author submitted information. 

Subject(s):  Intelligent tutoring  Knowledge Space Theory  mastery learning  ALEKS  learning gains  student affect  college mathematics  computerassisted instruction  CAI  
Persistent Link to This Record:  http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005963  
Restrictions on Access:  public 20151215  
Host Institution:  UCF 