Effects of three modes of personalisation on students’ achievement in mathematical word problems in Nigeria
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Awofala, A. O. A.
Balogun, Taju A.
Olagunju, M. A.
This study investigated the effects of modes of personalisation of instruction crossed with two levels each of verbal ability and cognitive style as moderator variables on the mathematical word problems achievement of 450 junior secondary Nigerian students. Personalisation was accomplished by incorporating selected information with students’ personal preferences into their mathematics word problems content on either group basis, individual or self-referencing format. Students were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: self-referencing, individual personalisation, group personalisation, and non-personalisation versions of an instructional programme on mathematics word problems. Results showed that treatment, verbal ability and cognitive style had significant main effects on students’ achievement in mathematical word problems. Thus, students exposed to group personalisation performed significantly better than those in other groups followed by individual personalisation, self-referencing, and nonpersonalisation in that order. High verbal ability students performed significantly better than low verbal ability counterparts. Also, analytic cognitive style students significantly outscored their non-analytic cognitive style counterparts. There were significant two-way interactions effects of treatment and verbal ability, treatment and cognitive style, and verbal ability and cognitive style on students’ achievement in mathematical word problems. These findings suggest in part that group personalisation; individual personalisation and self-referencing modes enhanced students’ achievement in mathematical word problems than the non-personalisation strategy. This impact was however sensitive to the cognitive style and verbal ability of the students. These findings show the need for choosing improved strategies for mathematical word problems teaching and the recognition of the influence of verbal ability and cognitive style on students’ achievement in mathematical word problems
personalisation instruction, word problems, mathematics achievement