• Students' performance and preference on computer-based tests vs paper-based tests.

      Cole, Melinda S. (13/11/2013)
      The purpose of this action research project was to determine if students performed better on computer-based tests or paper-based tests, as well as to determine the students’ preference for each testing method. The participants included seven fourth grade students. Data sources included: Results from two computer-based comprehension tests and two paper-based comprehension tests, two student surveys which included five questions regarding the testing experience and opinions of the assessments, open-ended interviews with the students in small groups, and the researcher’s observational notes. Data were analyzed for patterns and themes. The findings demonstrated that the majority of students performed better on the paper-based test, and that the majority of students preferred the paper-based test. Factors which made the students’ performances on computer versus paper tests more complicated included: Gender, number of tests administered, socioeconomic status, and the sample size of the participants.
    • Students' visual estimation of angles and their proficiency with angular measurement tools.

      Brydges, Courtney E. (2013-10-21)
      This study examines students' perceptions of and skill with angular measurement. Its underlying purpose is to analyze students' level of proficiency and appropriate understanding of angular measurement and associated measurement tools. It was hypothesized that eighth grade students would more accurately determine the measurement of a given angle to the nearest degree using visual estimation as opposed to using a protractor. The remainder of this study compares eighth grade students' assessments with university students' assessments. It was further hypothesized that neither age nor gender would influence a student's estimate despite the size or position of the angle. Subsequently, it was proposed that students, regardless of their age or gender, would have the most difficulty estimating acute angles within 10° of 0° and obtuse angles within 10° of 180°. The results of this study indicate that eighth grade students do not have sufficient knowledge in using angular measurement tools. Additional results revealed that both gender and age were found to have statistical significance in the visual estimation of angles and overwhelming evidence suggested that the least difficult angles to estimate were those close to 90 degrees.
    • A study aimed at reducing cognitive and somatic anxiety levels among collegiate drivers' performance in a meet setting

      Fuller, Ryan (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      An experiment was conducted on seven Division III collegiate divers to investigate the levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety and their impact on performance. Divers were given three tests, the CSAI-2, SCAT, and Likert-type survey to further understand anxiety levels and possible causes of anxiety. The participants were presented with five interventions that aimed at reducing levels of anxiety: visualization, imagaletics, thought stoppage, coping statements, and relaxation. These interventions were introduced throughout the final two months of the swimming and diving season in the meets leading up to the divers' championship meet. Performances were also tracked and compared to pre and post intervention period to see the difference in score. The results indicated that while performance scores increased among all divers, anxiety levels were not identical. Each diver responded differently to the interventions, lowering half of everyone's anxiety, while raising anxiety among the other half. Each diver wrote in journals over the course of the intervention period in order to give a narrative and description of their thought processes when facing a stressful situation. There was no definitive link between the intervention's effectiveness on the divers due to the conflicting results. There does appear to be a link between self-confidence levels, anxiety levels, and performance levels. In conclusion, the results find that each person responds differently to anxiety, either positively or negatively, therefore, levels of anxiety will ultimately be dete rmined by one's perception of the anxious situation. [from author's abstract]
    • A study of college students' accuracy in measurement estimation.

      Melinski, Ashley J. (2014)
      This study examines how accurate college students are in measurement estimation. It expands on the current research and compares students’ skills to estimate using the U.S. customary system and the metric system. The study compares college students from various countries and various STEM and non-STEM majors. The purpose of this study is to identify which group of students performed the best, whether it was international students compared to American students or if it was STEM majors compared to non-STEM majors. This study also compared students’ skills in different types of measurement estimation and to address the areas in which students performed the best. During the study, students completed a 16-question assessment containing different types of measurement estimation problems, including lengths, volumes, and temperature, using both the customary units and the metric system. Students were not allowed to use rulers or any devices to help improve their accuracy. For the volume and weight/mass problems, students were able to see actual containers filled with water to estimate the amount and weight. Students then had to complete a demographic survey of major, country they were raised in, and which units they were most comfortable using. Later in the survey, students had to rate each question based on their confidence level of their accuracy. The results showed that there was no statistical significance in scores and country of origin and also no statistical significance in scores and college major.
    • A study of college students' estimation skills with mathematical computations.

      Morgan, Jerica (2013-10-21)
      This research examines students’ capability to perform computational estimations as well as strategies used in doing so. There were a total of 59 participants and each was given an assessment and a survey to collect data to answer the questions: “How familiar are non-mathematics major college students with computational estimation?” and “What strategies are often implemented in performing these estimations?” Results showed that these participants were not proficient at estimating the answers of the problems in the study, implying that there is a need to further develop students’ skills of estimation in earlier stages of their education.
    • A study of college students' misconceptions about fractional expressions.

      Tydings, Shannon M. (2014)
      This study investigates the possible reasons why students struggle with the concept of fractions. During this study, college students from both a mathematics course required for their major and students in a basic core curriculum mathematics course completed a 10- problem test containing different types of problems involving fractions. These participants were not allowed to use a calculator. The number of correct responses for each problem was recorded. The scores were then compared to a survey that students answered, specifically looking at which problems they felt were the easiest/hardest to solve, and the method which they used to solve each problem. The results of this study indicated that all students struggled to solve word problems and had greater success with symbolic questions. The results indicated that there was an issue with conceptual and procedural knowledge levels. Also, the research showed that students resorted to traditional ways of solving problems. Additional results revealed that the students enrolled in the course required for their major were more successful than those in the core curriculum course. There was also no significant difference between performance on the test and gender.
    • A study of college students' misconceptions of radical expressions.

      Erlandson, Kyle M. (2013-10-21)
      This study examined the common misconceptions exhibited by college students regarding the topic of radical expressions. It was hypothesized that the majority of students in the study would lack a geometric understanding of radical expressions. A total of 49 students from two undergraduate non-mathematics major courses participated in this study. Each class was given an identical ten-problem assessment and a short survey which were both completed in one class period. Results from the assessment confirm that the majority of students participating in the study were unable to solve problems which required a geometric understanding of radicals. Only one of the students in the study was able to construct an exact length of √5 using the Pythagorean Theorem. A pedagogical implication of this study is to allow students to discover geometric interpretations and algebraic properties of radicals through student-centered, guided exploration activities. This pedagogical implication is demonstrated in the five-day unit for teaching radicals which is included in the study. This unit is aligned to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and was created based on the results obtained from the study.
    • A Study of Middle School and College Students' Mental Mathematics Abilities in Real-World Contexts

      Brion, Elizabeth (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2016-06)
      This study examines the thought processes employed by middle school and undergraduate college students to mentally solve situational mathematics problems. It was hypothesized that non-major undergraduate students would use more efficient mental strategies than middle school students to solve in-context arithmetic problems, though both undergraduate students and middle school students would have equal accuracy. The study also compared age and strategy choice, as well as indicated perception of mathematical abilities and accuracy. It was further hypothesized that both undergraduate students and middle school students would lack confidence in their mental computation abilities, possibly affecting their accuracy. The results of this study were in partial support of the hypothesis; it was indicated that college students were more efficient than middle school students (p-value = 0.019), but there was no statistical significance in accuracy between middle school and college students when solving in-context mathematics problems mentally. In-context problems consisted of calculating change, percent tip, percent discount, and gas mileage. Furthermore, there was no statistical significance between confidence in mathematical abilities and accuracy on the assessment (p-value = 0.298). Overall confidence in mathematics skills (on a Likert scale of 1-5) for middle school students (.......=4.3) and college students (.......=4.0) was not statistically significant (p-value = 0.306). Additional results indicate that the use of efficient strategies had statistical significance on accuracy when solving these problems.
    • A study of middle school and college students' misconceptions about solving multi-step linear equations.

      Powell, Amber N. (2013-01-11)
      This study examines the types of mistakes that students make solving multi-step linear equations. During this study, students completed a 15-problem test containing different types of multi-step linear equations appropriate for 8th graders according to the state and national mathematics standards. Students were not allowed to use a calculator. The instrument was generated by using past state tests and by polling professors of mathematics. The number of mistakes made for each mathematical property was recorded. The scores were compared to a survey that students answered reporting their confidence in solving these types of problems. The results of the study indicated that problems containing negative numbers and moving terms to the opposite side of the equal sign were incorrect most frequently among all student participants. Additional results revealed that eighth graders made more mistakes than college-level students, the types of mistakes made were different based on the grade level of the participants, males made fewer mistakes than females and there was a difference in the types of mistakes made based on gender.
    • A study of primary sources and Special Education.

      Delcamp, Aaron (2014)
      In this study, special education high school students were exposed to different examples of types of primary sources and were surveyed with their experiences with them. These students are not in a general education setting. The subjects are within a Boces district where they are in a high school rotation and are assessed by New York State Regents exams. These students were surveyed on if primary sources were useful in helping them understand the perspective of a soldier during World War II. Generally, students had a positive experience and considered that using primary sources was a learning experience.
    • A study of students' estimation skills with shaded areas.

      Whitney, Kaitlyn E. (2014)
      This study examined high school and college students’ skills to estimate area. During this study, students completed a ten-problem assessment which contained ten different geometric figures that were partially shaded in. Students were instructed to estimate what percentage of the area of the shape was shaded and to explain how they made their predictions for three problems. Each problem was scored on how far off their estimation was from the actual percentage. After completing the assessment, students were also asked to complete a five-question survey. The results of the study indicate that students are much more likely to overestimate than underestimate. Additional results revealed that problems that had a slanted shade line and problems with multiple pieces shaded were the most difficult for students. Other findings showed that there was no significant difference based on gender, but there was a significant difference based on what course students were enrolled in.
    • A study of students' interpretations of geometric language.

      Nickerson, Brenda J. (2014)
      This study examines college students’ comprehension of formal geometric language as opposed to general informal language. The research consisted of a set of assessments in which students needed to draw a compilation of geometric figures, given in the two separate language formats. The study also examined the aspect of whether students were more successful in their drawings when given instructions in oral form as opposed to instructions in written form. Assessments were given on two separate occasions, each consisting of two drawings. The first assessment included one drawing describing figure 1 given with informal language and oral instructions. The second drawing was of figure 2 with descriptions given in informal language and written instructions. The second set of assessments included figure 1 with formal language and written instructions, while figure 2 was described with formal language and oral instructions. The drawings were scored with a rubric that analyzed the accuracy of the figures in regards to size, shape, placement, and understanding of geometric vocabulary. The overall results indicated students draw a more accurate figure using informal language and written instructions. The results also indicated that students are not comfortable with geometric language and would benefit from more instruction in that discipline.
    • A study of students' misconceptions regarding variables in the pythagorean theorem and slope/intercept formula.

      Sutton, Kendelle (2013-01-17)
      Understanding the concept of mathematical variables gives an opportunity to expand and work on high-level mathematics. This study examined college students' comprehension of variables as well as variable use in well-known mathematics formulas. These formulas consist of the Pythagorean Theorem, slope, as well as the y-intercept. Students were asked to complete a ten-problem quiz in a twenty minute time frame. Immediately following the quiz, students were asked to complete a five question survey in which they described their reactions to the quiz and their knowledge of variables. Similarly 15 high school mathematics teachers were given a survey on their reflection of their students' knowledge of variables. The results of the quiz and surveys were collected and analyzed to determine if any correlations existed. The data collected showed that there was a strong indication of variable misunderstanding by college level mathematics students.
    • A study on solution techniques used by eighth grade mathematics students while solving systems of equations.

      Hood, Shane M. (2013-10-21)
      This research examines the effects of instructional order in regard to preference and achievement of solution techniques when solving systems of equations algebraically. It is hypothesized that students in an eighth grade mathematics classroom will have a preference for the technique they use for solving a system of equations. Additionally, that preference will be determined by which technique was introduced to the student first. To test this hypothesis students from four different classes were divided into two groups, students who would learn substitution first and students who would learn elimination first. Each group would be introduced to the alternate technique directly after the first. After both groups were familiar with the two techniques, an assessment was given tracking and comparing achievement and technique used on each problem between the students in the two groups. Additionally, a survey was given directly after the assessment to determine how the students felt about both techniques and trends from these surveys were also compared.
    • A study revisited.

      Tomaschke, Greta R. (2015)
      There are many advantages to becoming bilingual for students learning English as their new language. When English Language Learners (ELLs) begin to acquire a new language in public schools in the United States, they face many challenges that can negatively affect their academic achievement. In this thesis, the author chose to use the term Emergent Bilingual (EB) instead of English Language Learners (ELL), except in places referring to official legislation. EB was used as it emphasizes the students’ bilingualism rather than focusing on a proposed deficit in English language proficiency. The language practices and programs offered to EBs reflect upon the attitudes of the school personnel and broader community surrounding the school. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of middle school personnel toward heritage language maintenance (HLM) for EBs. This study is also a replica of Capullo (2007). More specifically, this study examined the attitudes of middle school personnel toward EB students and HLM, Bilingual education, English Only and school level policies. The research question was: What are the current attitudes of middle school personnel towards HLM for EB students? Using a fifteen item five-point Likert scale attitude survey, data was collected from personnel in three rural middle schools in Chautauqua County, New York. The results of the study demonstrated that middle school personnel tend to have a positive attitude towards HLM for EB students.
    • The success of No Child Left Behind

      Nicholson, Jordan (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), enacted into law in 2002, was the culmination of years of policy work and political posturing and represented the most sweeping changes to the American education system since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1964 (McGuinn, 2006). The analysis of this policy is particularly important because it will help future generations identify the positives and negatives of federal intervention in education. Beginning with the National Defense Education Act in 1958, the federal government has gradually increased its role in the oversight and administration of public education (Kessinger, 2011). Following landmark reforms like those enacted during Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" and Jimmy Carter's creation of the federal Department of Education, this intervention reached its apex in 2002 with the passage of NCLB and touched off a spirited debate across the country about how best to evaluate school performance (McGuinn, 2006). The act's provisions, including teacher evaluations; an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and mandatory standardized testing, changed the landscape of public education. Whether these initiatives improved the quality of American education is the subject of intense debate (Moores, 2004), but there exists a measurable impact on test scores, which lends credence to the idea that it was a successful policy. While the stated goals of the policy were not met, evidence exists of significant progress towards American education improvement in the 21st century. [from author's abstract]
    • Summer reading setback and parental involvement

      Skopinsky, Rachel (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2018-05)
      Summer reading setback is an issue that can have an impact on a child's reading ability. This setback can take place over the summer months when children have an extended break in their formal schooling. There are many factors that can impact summer reading setback and one is parental involvement. This extensive research focused on primary grade levels and the types of support parents or family members can provide during the summer months in order to reduce summer reading setback. As a result, a curriculum project was developed to present multiple strategies families can use with their children over the summer months while working with them on reading. Also, this handbook demonstrates how important it is for families to be active participants when a child is learning how to read. [from author's abstract]