Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Monica W. Tracey


Graduation rates are negatively affected by college learners' inability to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics. The purpose of this research study was to determine the effect of individual personalized mathematical instruction on the achievement of solving mathematical word problems by undergraduates enrolled in a college mathematics course. As well, the effect of individual personalized mathematical instruction on undergraduate motivation to solve mathematical word problems was also examined.

The research undertaken was a true experimental post-test only, control group design that took place over three consecutive weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. The experimental group received individual personalized mathematical word problem instructional materials in week 2 only and the non-personalized instructional materials during week 1 and week 3. The control group used non-personalized instructional materials only during this time period. Each group completed a weekly IMMS survey to measure motivation.

Results from the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) indicated that there was no significant difference of achievement between group types. ANCOVA results indicated that there was a significant difference in motivation between the experimental and control groups during week 2; however, there was no significant difference in learner motivation between group types in week 3. It is recommended that the study be repeated using personalization throughout the course semester to determine if motivation is cumulative to personalization treatment.