Committee Chair

Crawford, Elizabeth K.

Committee Member

Banks, Steven R.; Rausch, David W.; Matthews, John V.


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Many lower-level mathematics courses were redesigned in the Fall 2012 semester, after the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 eliminated developmental programs from state universities. This study examined the predictive relationships between students’ characteristics and their final grades in an entry-level math course that was taught in both online and face-to-face settings. Additionally, the study compared the course grades of students in different learning environments. Research questions: 1. Is there a significant, predictive relationship between students’ final grades in a math course and their characteristics? 2. How well does the combination of students’ characteristics predict academic performance in the face-to-face sections of the math course? 3. How well does the combination of students’ characteristics predict academic performance in the online sections of the math course? 4. Is there a statistically significant difference among students’ final math grades in different classroom environments, while controlling for ACT math subscores? Of the 566 participants, 85.3% and 14.7% were registered in face-to-face and online sections of the math course, respectively. Approximately two-thirds of the participants were female, 72.4% were freshmen, 3.2% were considered adult learners, and 70.1% of the students had ACT math subscores below 22. Multiple regression analyses were used to answer questions 1, 2, and 3. Verification of the assumptions for multiple linear regression revealed that the standardized residuals for the raw data were not normally distributed; therefore, a reverse score, logarithmic transformation was conducted to eliminate the negative skew. Analyses using the raw and transformed data values were conducted to improve the predictive validity and credibility of the models’ results. Gender and ACT math subscore were consistent, significant predictors of students’ grades in the face-to-face sections, whereas ACT math subscore was the only significant predictor of students’ final grades in the online sections. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to answer question 4. The results revealed no significant differences in students’ grades between the large face-to-face, medium face-to-face, and medium online environments. This study provides a foundation to assist in decision-making processes and assists with understanding the relationships between students’ characteristics and course outcomes.


Ph. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Higher); Education, Higher -- Effect of technological innovations on -- United States


Student success; Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA); Online versus face-to-face; College mathematics; Adult learners; Gender differences

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 94 leaves





Date Available