ERIC Number: EJ1101423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May-10
Abstractor: As Provided
Promoting Quantitative Literacy in an Online College Algebra Course
Tunstall, Luke; Bossé, Michael J.
International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, May 2016
College algebra (a university freshman level algebra course) fulfills the quantitative literacy requirement of many college's general education programs and is a terminal course for most who take it. An online problem-based learning environment provides a unique means of engaging students in quantitative discussions and research. This article reports on a US-based study that examined a traditional, lecture-based college algebra section versus an online, quantitative literacy focused section; the latter included weekly news discussions as well as problem-based learning projects requiring data analysis. Students in each section responded to survey questions at the beginning and end of the semester. Qualitative analysis of pre- and post-survey responses revealed differences in students' mathematical disposition, attitude, and outlook on what utility mathematics has to offer, with the online section having the favorable outcome of each. Albeit modest, the results suggest that project-based learning in an online environment is a promising strategy for fostering the affective component of quantitative literacy in college algebra. More research is needed to capture the mechanisms through which such growth occurs.
Descriptors: College Mathematics, Algebra, Online Courses, Numeracy, College Freshmen, Problem Based Learning, Conventional Instruction, Lecture Method, Comparative Analysis, Student Surveys, Pretests Posttests, Student Attitudes, Instructional Effectiveness, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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