• How long does it take to go 80 miles if you driving 80 mph?

      Schake, Elizabeth M. (2014)
      This study examined the methods and skills of college students to solve problems based on rates of changes and unit conversions. It was hypothesized that students have misconceptions about rates of change and unit conversions, students would make the most mistakes when solving problems with multiple tasks, and that students would rely on textbook methods when the context is unfamiliar. Participants took an assessment consisting of six problems ranging in difficulty according to the number of mathematical tasks within the problem and the students’ familiarity with the context. Students also completed a short survey in order for the researcher to collect background information on each student. In addition to grading the assessment based on correctness, the methods that students used for each problem were categorized. The results of this study indicated that problems solved using a logical or narrative method were answered correctly more so than problems solved using other methods. The problem with the most mathematical tasks proved to be the most difficult problem for the students to answer correctly.
    • 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.