Student learning, undergraduate, mathematics, emporium model, learning community, traditional lecture, animation, technology


The goal of this study was to investigate ways of improving student learning, par- ticularly conceptual understanding, in undergraduate mathematics courses. This study focused on two areas: course design and animation. The methods of study were the following: Assessing the improvement of student conceptual understanding as a result of team project-based learning, individual inquiry-based learning and the modi ed empo- rium model; and Assessing the impact of animated videos on student learning with the emphasis on concepts. For the first part of our study (impact of course design on student conceptual understanding) we began by comparing the following three groups in Fall 2010 and Fall 2011: 1. Fall 2010: MAC 1140 Traditional Lecture & Fall 2011: MAC 1140 Modi ed Empo- rium 2. Fall 2010: MAC 1140H with Project & Fall 2011: MAC 1140H no Project 3. Fall 2010: MAC 2147 with Projects & Fall 2011: MAC 2147 no Projects Analysis of pre-tests and post-tests show that all three courses showed statistically signifi cant increases, according to their respective sample sizes, during Fall 2010. However, in Fall 2011 only MAC 2147 continued to show a statistically signifi cant increase. Therefore in Fall 2010, project-based learning - both in-class individual projects and out-of-class team projects - conclusively impacted the students' conceptual understanding. Whereas, in Fall 2011, the data for the Modifi ed Emporium model had no statistical signifi cance and is therefore inconclusive as to its effectiveness. In addition the diff erence in percent of increase for MAC 1140 between Fall 2010 - traditional lecture model - and Fall 2011 - modi fied emporium model - is not statistically signi ficant and we cannot say that either model is a better delivery mode for conceptual learning. For the second part of our study, the students enrolled in MAC 1140H Fall 2011 and MAC 2147 Fall 2011 were given a pre-test on sequences and series before showing them an animated video related to the topic. After watching the video, students were then given the same 7 question post test to determine any improvement in the students' understanding of the topic. After two weeks of teacher-led instruction, the students took the same post-test again. The results of this preliminary study indicate that animated videos do impact the conceptual understanding of students when used as an introduction into a new concept. Both courses that were shown the video had statistically signifi cant increases in the conceptual understanding of the students between the pre-test and the post-animation test.


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Graduation Date





Young, Cynthia


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Mathematical Science; Industrial Mathematics








Release Date

May 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Mathematics Commons