Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Steven LeMire


College algebra courses, as important as they might be to the students that take them, continue to represent some of the most difficult of the pre-major courses in the required general education environment. Various pedagogies aimed at improving student performance have been explored through educational research with results generally mixed. Using a theoretical framework of Vygotsky’s social learning theory (1962, 1978), this research compared the impact of the Group Performance and Assessment Program (GPA Program) versus the traditional lecture pedagogy on four psychosocial factors of student performance: math interest, effort, self-efficacy, and peer influence. Using a retrospective Likert-type survey, this work compared the effects of each pedagogical approach on each factor. Using a pre and posttest, this work also compared the effects of each pedagogical approach on student performance. Data was analyzed using a 2 X 2 between and within groups repeated measures factorial design. Results, for each factor, indicated evidence supporting a main effect of time within, but no evidence to support any significant interaction between groups in the sample; hence no evidence that the GPA Program was better than traditional methods of teaching. Implications suggest the need for considering non-traditional pedagogical approaches that incorporate social learning in College Algebra.