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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Study of Students’ Perceptions of Their Experiences in a Community College Mathematics Course with Attached Supplemental Instruction
by Boatswain Harrell, Nicole, Ed.D., Grambling State University, 2020, 118; 28155406
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception of the experiences of community college students enrolled in a mathematics course with supplemental instruction (SI) attached. This study was conducted at a moderate-sized community college in Maryland. A qualitative research design was used, specifically a systematic approach design. Participants were selected using convenience sampling. The data collection tools employed were interviews and questionnaires. Documents in the form of SI participation logs and Math course GPAs were also collected. Data from the four research questions were analyzed.

The first research question explored areas that were perceived as benefits of attending SI by students enrolled in a mathematics course with SI attached. The three prevalent themes that emerged were an enhanced understanding of the material, the opportunity to review the content, and the attainment of various skills and strategies. The second research question explored the skills gained from SI participation for SI attached to a math course that students perceived as being transferrable to other courses. Three prevalent themes emerged: study skills, problem-solving skills, and collaborative techniques.

The third research question explored the factors that students perceive to lead to successful learning experience sessions. Participants perceived interactive elements to be important, and they indicated that a leader should foster collaboration and ask questions. Participants’ perception of the interaction that should occur between learning experience leaders and students resulted in the themes of asking questions and obtaining answers, as well as modeling and practice. Participants’ perception of the interaction that should occur amongst students revealed the theme of collaboration. The themes that were revealed for participants’ perception about how the SI leader’s leadership ability, experience with collaborative learning, and communication skills influence the effectiveness of the learning experience session revealed that approachability, acting as a guide, fostering collaboration, being peer-led, and using flexible and creative explanations are necessary; in addition, the study found that poor communication renders SI futile.

The fourth research question explored the factors that students perceive to be hindrances to successful learning experiences. The two prevalent themes that emerged included the leader only lecturing and the lack of opportunities to ask questions and obtain answers. This study can provide valuable information to policymakers, administrators, faculty, SI coordinators, and SI leaders about the usefulness of SI as a student support service to assist students in persisting to course and program completion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wanjohi, Reubenson
Commitee: Guyden, Janet , Martirosyan, Nara
School: Grambling State University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education, Educational administration, Curriculum development, Mathematics education, Community college education
Keywords: Supplemental instruction, Student perceptions, Mathematics courses, Maryland, GPA, Problem-solving skills, Study skills, Collaboration skills, Learning experiences
Publication Number: 28155406
ISBN: 9798582502180
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