ERIC Number: ED203760
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Effects of Class Size Upon Aptitude and Attitude of Pre-Algebra Undergraduate Students.
Edgell, John J., Jr.
The comparative effects of large and traditional-sized remedial mathematics classes on college student aptitude and attitude were studied. Two large pre-algebra classes of 129 and 121 students and traditional-sized classes ranging in size from 30 to 40 students were assessed by informal observations and two instruments: a department-developed placement tool and an attitude measure developed by Grayson Wheatley. Additionally, post-test information concerning student characteristics, educational background, and other data were obtained. For both the 135 students in the large classes and the 85 students in the traditional-sized classes, there was a positive change in aptitude, which was significant at the .05 level. For the students in the large classes, there was a significant negative change in attitude. Although some negative change in attitude occurred for students in the traditional-sized classes, there was a significant difference in negativity between the two study groups. Factors in addition to size that may have contributed to the more negative attitudes of students in the large classes include the instructional facilities, not having laboratory experiences as part of the regular class, and being assigned to a large class because of a situation that arose at the department. Additionally, there were more upper level students in the large classes than in the small classes. Additional information obtained after class completion and aptitude/attitude testing are considered as follows: student grade expectation, reasons for taking the course, study habits, preference for multiple choice versus scantron testing, perceived clarity of course objective, class attendance, and withdrawal. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Aptitude, Attitude Change, Class Size, College Mathematics, Course Evaluation, Educational Background, Educational Research, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Mathematics Instruction, Negative Attitudes, Remedial Mathematics, Small Classes, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student Teacher Ratio, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A