Achievement and affective domains of Algebra I students in traditional or self-paced computer programs

Sonia Yalonda McKenzie

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a self-paced mastery learning computerized program on student mathematics achievement and confidence in doing mathematics, anxiety toward mathematics, and attitude toward mathematics. Gender differences in the variables were also investigated. The participants were 52 students enrolled in Algebra I during the second semester of the 1998-1999 academic year at a southern Georgia high school. Two classes of Algebra I were taught using traditional methods of instruction and two classes were taught using a self-paced computerized mastery learning program (Learning Logic). Both groups received instruction on a block schedule for 100 minutes per day. Both group covered the same objectives. Mathematics achievement was measured by the final test of the Merrill Algebra I: Applications and Connections, Evaluation Master Book. Mathematics achievement was measured prior to and after the study. Affective variables of confidence in doing mathematics, anxiety toward mathematics, and attitude toward mathematics were also measured prior to and after the study through the Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scales. ANCOVA statistical analyses were used to determine the findings of the study. The results of this research study indicated that students in the traditional classroom scored significantly higher than students in the self-paced mastery learning classes. Furthermore, the study suggested that self-paced computer-assisted instruction had a positive impact on reducing anxiety levels of males.