Electronic Proceedings of the Twenty-eighth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Atlanta, Georgia, March 10-13, 2016

Paper A033

This is an electronic reprint, reproduced by permission of Pearson Education Inc. Originally appeared in the Proceedings of the Twenty-eighth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, ISBN 013480029X, Copyright (C) 2017 by Pearson Education, Inc.

Developing Habits of Mind in the Core Mathematics Program

Thomas Nelson

United States Military Academy

Michael D. Seminelli

United States Military Academy

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This study seeks to assess the development of habits of mind of students in the core mathematics program at the United States Military Academy (USMA). One of the goals of the core mathematics program is for students to display effective habits of mind in their intellectual process. This study focuses on the intended outcome that students display a sound work ethic, striving for accuracy and precision while maintaining strong resolve to complete problems in their entirety (e.g. persistence). The goal is to determine whether the daily web-based homework due dates effect the development of effective habits of mind in the core math program. Data collection efforts were completed during academic year 2015-1 (fall semester) for three sections of MA205: Integral Calculus and Differential Equations. One instructor (with 53 students) delayed the due dates on WebAssign online homework at different intervals for each section. The results show collective section and individual averages on online homework assignments, analysis of homework scores and test scores, qualitative responses to surveys about homework due dates, and analysis of the effects of due date changes against a 270-student control group. The results show some indications of effective and poor habits of mind development among individual students. However, using a Tukey test and ANOVA in R there is no statistically significant difference between the group means of student performance on the online homework and test scores after suspense dates were moved with that of the control group. This indicates that the due dates of the online homework do not affect the overall performance of students on that homework and subsequent graded exams. However, there are some individual indicators that the changes in homework due dates affect the development of habits of mind in the core mathematics program.

Keyword(s): pedagogy, assessment