Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Higher Education Administration

First Advisor's Name

Leonard B. Bliss

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Maria L. Fernandez

Third Advisor's Name

Joy L. Blanchard

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mandayam O. Thirunarayanan


Mastery Learning, Computer Assisted Instruction, Developmental Mathematics

Date of Defense



Many students are entering colleges and universities in the United States underprepared in mathematics. National statistics indicate that only approximately one-third of students in developmental mathematics courses pass. When underprepared students repeatedly enroll in courses that do not count toward their degree, it costs them money and delays graduation. This study investigated a possible solution to this problem: Whether using a particular computer assisted learning strategy combined with using mastery learning techniques improved the overall performance of students in a developmental mathematics course. Participants received one of three teaching strategies: (a) group A was taught using traditional instruction with mastery learning supplemented with computer assisted instruction, (b) group B was taught using traditional instruction supplemented with computer assisted instruction in the absence of mastery learning and, (c) group C was taught using traditional instruction without mastery learning or computer assisted instruction. Participants were students in MAT1033, a developmental mathematics course at a large public 4-year college. An analysis of covariance using participants’ pretest scores as the covariate tested the null hypothesis that there was no significant difference in the adjusted mean final examination scores among the three groups. Group A participants had significantly higher adjusted mean posttest score than did group C participants. A chi-square test tested the null hypothesis that there were no significant differences in the proportions of students who passed MAT1033 among the treatment groups. It was found that there was a significant difference in the proportion of students who passed among all three groups, with those in group A having the highest pass rate and those in group C the lowest. A discriminant factor analysis revealed that time on task correctly predicted the passing status of 89% of the participants.

It was concluded that the most efficacious strategy for teaching developmental mathematics was through the use of mastery learning supplemented by computer-assisted instruction. In addition, it was noted that time on task was a strong predictor of academic success over and above the predictive ability of a measure of previous knowledge of mathematics.





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