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TitleA Study of the Self-Efficacy of Personalized Learning as a Remediation Tool in Algebra by Caroline
File Size2.4 MB
Total Pages117
Document Text Contents
Page 58


Chapter 5


The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent of the role personalized learning

played in knowledge gains when used as a remediation tool for Algebra. The main finding in the

results revealed that participants presented with the personalized learning experience perceived

a higher level of satisfaction with the personalized nature of the learning environment than with

their overall experience with the program. In this chapter, a discussion of the findings relative to

the research questions, survey results and open ended survey questions is presented.

Limitations, implications and future directions are also discussed.

Findings for Research Question 1

To what extent does personalized learning play a role in knowledge gain when used as a

remediation tool? The purpose of this analysis was to investigate whether or not a personalized

experience would provide a more meaningful context to increase gains in learning when used as

a remediation tool. An analysis of the pre- and post-test scores with respect to condition showed

there was very little gain in scores and not enough to constitute any significant findings. This

outcome suggests that the participant’s gain in learning from experiencing a personalized

treatment did not differ from the non-personalized condition. Analyses with respect to gender and

gender and condition interactions did not yield any significant differences among the groups. The

two largest groups of students consisted of Caucasian and Hispanic students. These groups,

together, constituted more than half of the participants. Therefore, since there were fewer

participants of other races to compare against, a valid comparison was not possible. No

significant differences in achievement with respect to gender, which agrees with prior literature

that among high school girls, the only relationship found was a negative correlation with

mathematics confidence (Pierce et al., 2007).

Open ended questions showed dissatisfaction with the system and a dislike for both the

system and the content area. As previously mentioned, prior research indicates that positive

emotions such as engagement and concentration can enhance learning (Pekrun et al., 2002;

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Sabourin & Lester, 2014), whereas negative emotions such as frustration, anxiety and boredom

can have adverse effects (Meyer & Turner, 2006; Sabourin & Lester, 2014). Negative feelings

and emotions regarding the subject matter further serves to discourage students and lead them to

not perform as well (Andrews & Brown, 2015; Brown, 2014; Network, 2014; Orabuchi, Yeh,

Chung, & Moore, 2013). Performance due to dissatisfaction in terms of user experience also

serves to hinder completing a task at optimal levels (Albert & Tullis, 2013; Hassenzahl &

Tractinsky, 2006; Karapanos, 2013).

One of the biggest challenges in learning involves getting students to appreciate the

subject. Generally, strategies employed in teaching include making the content relevant to the

learners. Although the visuals of the learning environments were aesthetically pleasing, students

may have felt disconnected to the topic of algebra. Examples were very abstract (i.e. finding

points on a parabola) and students may have had a difficult time connecting the concept of a

parabola to something more tangible. A suggestion for making this abstract concept more

concrete for students in helping them understand what a parabola is would have been to

superimpose a parabola with its equation on a familiar object such as a satellite dish TV antenna,

a contact lens, or a curved mirror used in stores to dissuade shoplifters. Students could also be

have the opportunity to propose examples that are familiar to their everyday lives. By doing so,

this would allow them to see the relevance of what they’re learning and how it is applied to

everyday life. In turn, students would feel more at ease and harbor less negative feelings

towards something they deem as unknown.

Findings for Research Question 2

How satisfied are the students with the overall experience using the system? An analysis

of the question regarding the overall experience of using the system did not yield significant

differences between the groups. On a scale of 1 to 4 where 1 was complete dissatisfaction and 4

was complete satisfaction, both means were around 1.9, indicating a lower level of satisfaction.

Open-ended survey questions revealed usability issues, which were particularly prevalent on the

Personalized Learning Platform. These included the inability to skip forward, bugs in the

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