An Action Research Project
Problem: Math Scores on Timed Tests have Dropped
Does the amount of time
you spend practicing something affect your final performance? Does the
number of times you complete a puzzle affect how quickly you can finish it?
Behavioral scientists and psychologists analyze how people learn. As
you work through this project, you will collect and record data on learning.
You will summarize your findings and make predictions. Using
this information you will make a recommendation to your math teacher about
practice problems for homework how it will effect the outcome of the games.
1. Find a classmate to work with. Time
each other as you solve a puzzle or maze. Take turns until you have
each completed the puzzle or maze five times. (Don't watch each other's
solutions!) Time other people solving your puzzle or maze five times.
Organize all the trials and times in a table. Summarize your results.
What effect does repetition have on solving time? How would more
repetitions affect the time?
2. Find a group of at least 3 students to work
with. Make a list of a dozen words. Give each member ten
seconds to study the list. Then
have them write down items they can
recall. Record the number of correct items. Give each member an
additional ten seconds to study the list again. Have them write down
items and record the results. Repeat this two more times and describe
any correlation you see in the data from the first experiment.
3. Create scatter plots of the data you collected
for the two activities. Describe any correlations suggested by the scatter
plots. Does a line seem to fit your data? What would happen to
a line of best fit after several more trials?
4. Present your project
in a visual display. For each experiment you have conducted, you should
show a table of data, a scatter plot of the data including a line of
best fit, and a paragraph analyzing what happened. Your presentation
should discuss any correlations and lines of best fit you have found and any
conclusions you have drawn.
5. Evaluate the current homework load in your
math class. Do you think you get enough practice problems? Should
there be an increase or decrease in the number of practice problems you do?
Why? How will these changes effect test scores?