ERIC Number: ED214614
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Factors Related to Problem Solving by College Students in Developmental Algebra.
Schonberger, Ann K.
A study was conducted to contrast the characteristics of three groups of college students who completed a developmental algebra course at the University of Maine at Orono during 1980-81. On the basis of a two-part final examination, involving a multiple-choice test of algebraic concepts and skills and a free-response test of problem-solving abilities, 16 four-year college students and 75 community college students were assigned to one of three categories. Group 1 was the low algebra skills, high problem-solving ability group; Group 2 was the high algebra skills, low problem-solving ability group; and Group 3 scored high on both measures. Comparisons among the groups were made on the basis of student test scores in the areas of visual spatial ability, abstract reasoning ability, cognitive style, learning style, and Piagetian developmental level. In addition, gender differences were analyzed. The study revealed that: (1) students in Group 3 were older and entered the class with better arithmetic skills than the other two groups; (2) that Group 2 students started the course with greater knowledge of algebra than the other two groups and were less field independent; and (3) Group 1 students were more field dependent than Group 2 students, were predominantly male, and may have had more spatial ability and more intuitive problem-solving methods. However, the groups were generally similar in more ways than they differed. Sample test items and data analyses are appended. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mathematics Skills; University of Maine Orono
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).