Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Vena Long

Committee Members

JoAnn Cady, P. Mark Taylor, Carl Wagner


This study investigated whether the use of presentation software as the primary delivery system would affect developmental mathematics students’ attitudes toward mathematics and investigated the differential impact presentation software might have on mathematical attitudes of students with respect to their gender, locale (rural vs. non-rural), or age (traditional vs. nontraditional). The student’s locale was determined by the Johnson code assigned to the high school he or she graduated from by the National Center for Education Statistics. A student was classified as traditional (under 21 years of age) or nontraditional (21 years of age or older).

An experimental study was conducted with four community college instructors each teaching two sections of elementary algebra, one with a traditional delivery system and one with presentation software as the primary delivery system. The students were given four subscales of the Fennema- Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales (1976) to detect changes in their attitudes toward mathematics during the first week of classes (pre-test), at week nine (midtest), and during the last week of classes (post-test). The four subscales used were Attitude Toward Success in Mathematics, Confidence in Learning Mathematics, Mathematics Anxiety Scale, and the Mathematics Usefulness Scale.

A Multivariate Analysis of Variance with repeated measures was run using the Wilk’s Lambda as an indicator for significance. At the time of the mid-test, the control group was found to have significantly higher scores on confidence in learning mathematics. Furthermore, across classes, student attitudes toward mathematical usefulness significantly declined over time. In addition, across classes, student mathematics anxiety levels significantly increased over time.

Finally, when examining gender, locale, and age, a significant difference was found for rural students between the mathematics anxiety scores of students in the control group versus the mathematics anxiety scores of rural students in the experimental group, with the experimental group reporting significantly higher scores on mathematics anxiety. Furthermore, males reported higher confidence in learning mathematics levels than females at the pre-test and mid-test. However, at the post-test, no significant differences were found between males and females with respect to their confidence in learning mathematics.

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