Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Donald A. Dellow, Ed.D.

Co-Major Professor

William H. Young, III, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John M. Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

W. Robert Sullins, Ed.D.


Academic Emotions, Outcome Expectation, Formative Assessment, Instructional Strategy


American students no longer lead the world in quantitative skills. This decline in mathematical ability has potentially significant negative national and personal consequences. Math anxiety, low self-efficacy in relation to math, and a sense of hopelessness about math are all possible barriers to being successful in learning and using math, not only in school but ultimately in many aspects of adult life. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between hope, expectation, math anxiety (positive and negative affect related components), and students’ final course scores in College Algebra within the context of an instructional strategy intended to improve student achievement and reduce math anxiety. Data were collected from 214 College Algebra students in 12 different classrooms, taught by five instructors using this strategy. These data were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Within the context of the study, the scores students hoped to earn and pre-course negative affect related math anxiety subscores did not significantly influence their final course scores. However, the scores students expected to earn and positive affect related math anxiety subscores did impact final course scores. Scores students hoped to earn at the beginning of the course were significantly related to total math anxiety as well as positive and negative affect related math anxiety subscores at the end of the course. Classroom average attitudes, including averages of scores students hoped to earn, scores students expected to earn, and math anxiety scores were significantly related to post-course positive and negative affect related math anxiety subscores and total post-course math anxiety. The number of students indicating that they enjoyed math and would like to take more math classes in the future was higher at the end of the course than at the beginning. Fewer students disagreed with every negative affect related item on the instrument at the end of the course than did at the beginning, indicating improving affect. Instructional strategies similar to the one used in this study may provide a rich context for supporting student achievement and improving attitudes towards math in College Algebra. The results of this study may help inform the work of practitioners through improved understanding of the impact and interactions of hope, expectation, math anxiety, classroom attitudes, and achievement.