• College students' misconceptions of the order of operations.

      Joseph, Kristen N. (2014)
      This research examines the reasons why students struggle with manipulating mathematical expressions and equations when the order of operations process is necessary. It was hypothesized that students in a liberal arts mathematics course would have difficulty using the correct order of operations process when manipulating expressions and solving equations. It was also hypothesized that non-mathematics major college students would have equal difficulty solving for variables using the order of operations process. During this study, students completed a ten-problem assessment. The assessment was generated by polling professors of mathematics. Students were instructed to solve each problem, showing all work, without the use of a calculator. The score for each problem was recorded and compared to a survey that students answered reporting their confidence in using the order of operations process. The results of the study indicated that problems using different types of grouping symbols (not just parentheses) and problems involving fractions were incorrect most frequently. Additional results revealed that there was no difference in scores based on gender and year in college.
    • Eliminate the substitution or substitute the elimination?

      Hammond, Ricardo S. (2013-01-25)
      This research examines the different methods used for solving systems of equations, how those methods are taught, and how they can be applied to real world situations. More specifically, this research examines which of these methods student tend to favor, as well as whether or not students can properly apply the concept of systems of equations to real world situations. “It is hypothesized that high school algebra students will use substitution over elimination when solving systems of equations, and that students who have not been previously introduced to any method will naturally use “guess-and-check.” Furthermore, it is hypothesized that students’ general approach to solving systems of equations is “procedural,” causing them to score higher on algebraic-type problems than on word problems". It was determined that students who had already been instructed on solving systems of equations were likely to favor substitution over other methods. It was also concluded that students who had not yet been instructed on solving systems of equations had a tendency to favor guess-and-check over other methods. Furthermore, students performed better on the algebraic problems than the word problems. Many students approached the word problems differently than how they approached the algebraic problems. Regardless of the methods used in the algebraic problems, many students abandoned those methods when attempting the word problems.--
    • FOIL: Fencing Tool or Math Skill?

      Maloney, Daniel S. (2013-01-15)
      No author abstract.