Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation

Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Document Type



This 2 x 2 quasi-experimental study examined the effects of pedagogical method (i.e., direct instruction vs. 5E inquiry) and intentional community-building (i.e., absence or presence) on undergraduate student (N = 103) motivation, engagement, and achievement in mathematics. Conditions were randomly assigned to one of four different College Algebra classes with a one-time occurrence and taught by a trained expert teacher. Findings indicated that intentional community-building – regardless of pedagogical method – had the strongest effects on students’ motivation, engagement, and achievement. Although no differing pedagogical effects were discovered (most likely due to the one-time implementation of the lesson formats), the findings provide evidence for the necessity of community-building efforts -- an aspect of education that is often overlooked in the undergraduate STEM classroom.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Lisa C. Duffin


Education | Educational Methods | Secondary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development