• 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 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.