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Students taking developmental mathematics courses resist attempting word problems when they are presented to them. Although word problems can help students contextualize learning, develop better understanding of the concepts and apply world knowledge, they constitute an impediment to students’ progress in developmental mathematics courses. A two-semester study on the first developmental mathematics course at LaGuardia Community College shows that students perform better at word problems when they have been discussed in groups with their peers prior to the homework. Moreover, when assigned word problems without a class discussion, students perform better when these problems are individualized based on their areas of interest.


This article was originally published in the Journal of College Teaching & Learning.

This work was distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).



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