Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Jo A. Cady

Committee Members

David F. Anderson, Ji W. Son, Thomas N. Turner


The purposes of this study are to determine if learning differs when calculus learners analyze correct or incorrect work samples and to investigate students’ perceptions of the effect of analyzing work samples on their learning of mathematics. Calculus students were randomly assigned to two groups: one group analyzing correct work samples and one group analyzing incorrect work samples. Data from enrollees in 10 sections of Basic Calculus at a large university was analyzed using ANCOVA, independent-samples t-test, and inductive analysis (Hatch, 2002). Results suggest that when students analyze incorrect work samples of moderate difficulty, they are less likely to repeat the errors they have seen. Results also suggest that students perceive correct work samples as more beneficial to learning than incorrect work samples. However, both correct and incorrect work samples were found to challenge students’ thinking and promote student independence. These findings have implications for teacher practice and curriculum development.

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