Improving student success in developmental math courses at a two-year college: An action research study

by Scott, Ronald G., D.Ed., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 185 pages; 3700921


More than half of the students arriving at two-year higher education institutions are not prepared for college-level mathematics, and therefore must enroll in developmental math courses. Unfortunately, developmental math courses are often the gateway to a student's education, and the faster they complete them and can enter their required curriculum courses, the more likely they are to finish. This action research project focused on the development of a recommended improvement plan for a two-year institution where the emporium-style developmental math curriculum had been implemented, but students were not accelerating their completion pace as expected. A mixed-methods data collection and analysis action research project was conducted utilizing previously administered and validated data collection instruments. The instruments collected data on the student's attitude toward technology, attitude toward mathematics, preferred learning styles, and self-motivation styles. The results demonstrated that students in developmental math courses typically did not like math at any time, did not take advantage of resources such as labs and tutors adequately, and tended to lack self-regulatory skills to motivation and study habits. The recommended improvement plan included the introduction of a traditional lecture-based course section, allowing calculators to be used earlier in the curriculum, and creation and introduction of a student success course. Overall, the instructors and administrators assessed the research was thorough, organized, collected meaningful data, and produced information related to the development of an improvement plan that could result in earlier completion and more success for developmental math students.

AdviserEdna Waller
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCommunity college education; Mathematics education; Educational leadership; Management
Publication Number3700921

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