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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the effect of an organized remedial program in freshman mathematics Kennedy (Jenkinson), Doreen Elizabeth

Abstract

It was observed that the students in Mathematics 100 made many errors which appeared to be due directly to a lack of knowledge of the fundamental facts of elementary algebra. This thesis studied the effect of an organized remedial program given during the regular class-room periods on the mean class marks and the numbers of failures. This involved a determination of the facts and abilities necessary for success in Mathematics 100, and the measurement of the students' knowledge of these fundamentals. Moreover, an analysis of the results might provide a method for selecting those students who would probably have difficulty passing the course. The program of the experiment had three parts, namely: the construction of the test of fundamentals; the selection of control and experimental groups on the basis of the scores made on this test, an intelligence test, and the Mathematics 100 Christmas examination; and the administration of the remedial program in the experimental group. The differences between the mean scores made by these groups on the April examination were evaluated by four procedures. In the first of these, the method of gains, the significance of the difference between the gains was determined. In the other three methods, the effect of the remedial program was studied by determining the significance of the difference between the mean April scores of: (a) a control and an experimental group equated on the basis of their Christmas scores (method 2); (b) a control and an experimental group composed of pairs of students, chosen from the two original groups, and matched on the basis of their Christmas marks (method 3); (c) the actual marks obtained by the experimental group and its scores predicted from its Christmas marks using the regression equation of the control group (method 4). The following table gives the critical ratios and the chances of a significant difference being obtained by using the above four methods. (Tables omitted) It may be concluded, therefore, that the remedial program raised the mean class mark of the experimental group, since there are at most four chances in one hundred that the difference could be due to chance. Furthermore, the program reduced the number of failures, although the reduction was not statistically significant.

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