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ERIC Number: ED561642
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 177
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-2688-9
Implementation of Peer-Assisted Learning in an Intermediate Algebra Course at a Community College
Samuels, Christine M.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose of this action research study was to determine how peer-assisted learning (PAL) could be implemented to support improved academic achievement, persistence, and attitudes toward math for community college students in an intermediate developmental algebra course. Students in two sections of an intermediate algebra course, with an enrollment of 25 students, implemented the intervention. Students in five sections of an intermediate algebra class in the summer, with an enrollment of 49 students, did not implement the intervention and served as a comparison group. PAL strategies were implemented within teams of three to four students during the nine lab sessions of the intervention sections of the course. Student feedback data about the PAL activities and group interactions were collected, along with instructor observations of student on-task behaviors. Data also included final exam scores from both intervention and nonintervention groups, and institutional end-of-course feedback data. The Attitudes Towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI) was administered to both groups at the beginning and end of the course. Finally, the researcher kept a journal throughout the implementation. The findings of the study indicated that students enjoyed and bonded with their peers through PAL strategies; students resisted changing groups once they had been established. The t-test conducted on the final exam data indicated no statistically significant difference between intervention and nonintervention exam scores. However, a higher percentage of intervention group students passed the final exam than students in the nonintervention groups. In addition, the average score of intervention group students as a whole was higher than the average score of the nonintervention group students. Comparable percentages of both the intervention and nonintervention students persisted in the course. While a t-test showed no statistically significant difference in math anxiety levels, as measured by the ATMI, between intervention and nonintervention groups, ATMI scores of some students in the intervention group demonstrated a decrease in anxiety from pretest to posttest. These preliminary but positive findings led to the recommendation that PAL be implemented in additional courses and studied on a larger scale to better understand the benefits of these strategies on student outcomes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A