Help seeking in developmental mathematics courses

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Help seeking in developmental mathematics courses

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Title: Help seeking in developmental mathematics courses
Author: Offer, Joey Alaina
Abstract: Although reasons for avoiding help, goal orientation, and social efficacy have been examined in the context of social adaptive help seeking, researchers have not pursued how these constructs influence computer adaptive help seeking. The three studies in this dissertation addressed both social and computer adaptive help seeking. The purpose of this dissertation was to determine if reasons for avoiding help seeking, personal goal orientation, or social efficacy predict social and computer adaptive help seeking for students enrolled in computer-based, developmental mathematics courses in community college settings. The purpose of the first study was to determine if students differentiate among three help-seeking sources: (a) formal, (b) informal, and (c) computer. Study 1 revealed that this population considered two different sources of help: social and computer help. These results were used to formulate the following questions for Study 2 and Study 3: 1. Do reasons for avoidance of help predict social or computer adaptive help seeking? 2. Does personal goal orientation predict social or computer adaptive help seeking? 3. Does social efficacy predict social or computer adaptive help seeking? Study 2 revealed that ability concerns negatively predict social adaptive help seeking and that mastery goal orientations positively predict both social and computer adaptive help seeking. Study 3 revealed that ability concerns negatively predict social adaptive help seeking and that mastery goal orientations and social efficacy for peers positively predict social adaptive help seeking. Additionally, ability concerns negatively predict computer adaptive help seeking, and mastery goal orientations positively predict computer adaptive help seeking. The finding that students who adopt a mastery-goal orientation use both social and computer means to adaptive help seek was not surprising. The finding that students who have ability concerns do not tend to social adaptive help seek is also consistent with previous research. However, the most important conclusion from Study 3 is that students who have ability concerns do not computer adaptive help seek, regardless of the anonymity provided by the computer. More research is needed in this field to examine why students with ability concerns tend to avoid help seeking altogether.
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
Subject: Help-seeking behavior--Texas--Case studies Motivation in education--Texas--Case studies Mathematics--Study and teaching--Texas--Psychological aspects--Case studies Mathematics--Texas--Computer-assisted instruction--Case studies Mathematics--Remedial teaching--Texas--Case studies
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/3132
Date: 2007-05

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