Browsing Master's Theses by Author "Tydings, Shannon M."
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.