• Analysis of the effects of online homework on the achievement, persistence, and attitude of developmental mathematics students

      Barnsley, Amy Elizabeth; Kaden, Ute; Jacobsen, Gary; Faudree, Jill; Rickard, Anthony (2014-05)
      This dissertation summarizes a study of the use of online homework with developmental mathematics students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. To address the problem of high failure rates in developmental mathematics courses this study investigated the relationship between online homework and academic achievement, persistence, and attitude. Special focus was placed on non-traditional and Alaska Native students. A matched pair experimental design was employed. The independent variable was homework type and the dependent variables were achievement, persistence, and attitude. Nineteen sections of developmental mathematics, six instructors, and 423 student participants were involved. The main effect of homework type was not statistically significant to any of the dependent variables. However, the effect of the interaction between homework type and course level was significant (p = 0.005). Upon further analysis it was found that one of the four levels (beginning algebra) had significantly higher post-test scores when online homework was assigned. The interaction effects of homework type/ Native status and homework type/ non-traditional status were not statistically significant on any of the dependent variables. Also, results from homework questionnaires were compared. In general, students rated paper homework slightly higher than online homework. Instructors rated online homework higher than students did. Non-traditional students scored paper homework higher than online homework. The conclusion of this study is that while students have a slightly more favorable attitude toward paper homework, online homework in conjunction with graded paper quizzes and face-to-face instruction does not have a negative effect on achievement or persistence.