LEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journal, Vol 34, No 1 (2011)

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Mediated Processing of Student Errors on Inequalities: Effects on Math Attitude, Self-Efficacy and Achievement

John Antonio G. Encarnacion II, Ph.D.

Abstract


The study looked into different errors of students when solving inequalities and the effectiveness of mediated processing of such errors in improving math attitude, self-efficacy, and achievement as well as the relationship among these three variables. It also aimed to test mathematical ability as a moderating factor of math achievement. Using quasi-experimental design, three comparable College Algebra classes were chosen as sample. One section was the control group and the other two sections were the mediated groups. The following instruments were used: math attitude inventory, math self-efficacy scale, two seat work on Inequalities, math entrance subtest, and achievement test on Inequalities. The mediated processing of errors was done after each seat work, either individually or in groups for the mediated groups. Results showed that students' errors on Inequalities were due to their lack of mastery of the pre-requisite concepts, their unfamiliarity with inequalities, and to some extent, their carelessness in writing down their solutions. The study showed an improvement in the math attitude and math self-efficacy in all groups, although no significant difference between the mediated sample and the non-mediated sample was observed. Nonetheless, there was a significant difference in the math achievement between the group mediated sample and the non-mediated sample. Math ability was found to be a non-significant moderator of math achievement. This study recommends the introduction of inequalities still using equations as analogue, but devoting more time to differentiating the concept of equations and inequalities. It is also recommended that regular and continuous updating of the database on students' errors for purposes of remediation and improved mediated processing of the students' errors and the use of mediated error processing irrespective of the composition of the class, preferably in groups, and in combination with other teaching and learning techniques to improve students' math ability, self-efficacy, and achievement.


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ISSN 0116-7235 (Print)