Theses Doctoral

The Effectiveness of Supplemental Instruction and Online Homework in First-semester Calculus

Khan, Bibi Rabia

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether supplemental instruction and online homework can improve student performance and understanding in a first-semester calculus course at a large urban four-year college. The study examined the metacognitive and study skills and posttest scores of students. The study also focused on students’ and instructor’s perception and experiences of supplemental instruction and online homework using WebAssign.
The study used a modified version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) to reveal any significant differences in metacognitive and study strategies between students in a class with supplemental instruction/online homework and students in a traditional class. Students’ scores on their final examination were analyzed to reveal the effect of mathematical achievement between the control and experimental groups. Surveys and interviews were utilized to provide anecdotal evidence as to the overall effectiveness of the online homework management system and supplemental instruction.
Results of the study showed no substantial difference between the control group and the experimental group in seven out of eight sub-scales of metacognitive and study strategies: metacognitive self-regulation, time and study environment, effort regulation, help seeking, rehearsal, organization, and critical thinking. But, students with supplemental instruction/online homework showed a higher level of elaboration learning strategies. The interaction of pretest and type of class (traditional or treatment) did not have a significant effect on students’ posttest score. There was no substantial effect of pretest on posttest, but the treatment influenced students’ posttest score. Students’ gender, race, class level, or the number of courses they registered for were insignificant predictors of their posttest scores. The instructor and students agreed that time spent in supplemental instruction sessions and on WebAssign were worthwhile and beneficial. They believed supplemental instruction and online homework using WebAssign may have influenced students’ understanding and performance in the course.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, J. Philip
Ed.D.C.T., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2018