ERIC Number: ED429634
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
A Study of Student Retention and Attitudes in a Community College Preparatory Mathematics Course.
Rhodes, Jolene M.
This study explored the effects of the use of laboratory activities on students' attitudes and retention in a community college preparatory mathematics course. It also examined whether the use of numerical, analytical, and graphical methods of solution in preparatory classes would affect student retention in the succeeding algebra course. The study took place on two campuses of a metropolitan community college. Faculty on each campus taught a four-hour college preparatory mathematics course with a required one-hour laboratory component. At one campus, commercially produced puzzles, group activities, experiments, and data collection activities were used in the laboratory hour; at the other campus, a faculty-produced packet of activities that included skill worksheets and some group activities were used. At the end of the semester, students' attitudes about mathematics and their mathematical abilities were measured. Performance on a 20-question test measured to what extent the material was retained by the students. Findings included: the addition of the one-hour lab to the math class increased course retention rates; no differences were found in retention rates or student attitudes toward mathematics between the students that used the different types of laboratory materials; and the use of laboratory activities in the preparatory mathematics course improved retention rates in the subsequent algebra course. Five appendices are attached. (CAK)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Central Florida.