ERIC Number: ED480929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
What Predicts Success in Intermediate Algebra? Research Report 2002-06.
Belcheir, Marcia J.
A study was undertaken to develop a better understanding of the students enrolled in intermediate algebra (Mathematics 108) at Boise State University, Idaho, and to uncover variables that predicted success in that course. Predictor variables were divided into preenrollment variables and course variables. Examining data for students enrolled in Mathematics 108 in spring 2001 showed that most (90%) had previously been enrolled in Mathematics 025, and about 20% had earned a D or F in that class. Off-campus jobs took a big chunk of student time. Time log data showed that students spent about 9 hours a week on average studying for Mathematics 108. Students were generally positive about the effects of the instructor and homework, with more than 80% indicating that these variables were somewhat helpful or very helpful By the mid-term, 75% of students knew what their current grade was in Mathematics 108. Obtaining a C or better depended on student motivation and anxiety levels and mid-term status measured by having a passing grade at that time. Predicting how students would do on the common final examination also depended on student study skills and motivation levels and mid-term status. Very few of the course-related variables on how the class was structured or managed were significant predictors of achievement. Who taught the course was not a significant factor for scoring high on the final examination or receiving a C in the course. Findings suggest that the early part of the course is critical to student success, so instructors should make early achievement clear to students. The issues of motivation and study skills, however, fall into the domain of student responsibility. (Contains 19 tables.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Boise State Univ., ID. Office of Institutional Assessment.