Article Summary

Impact of Personalization of Mathematical Word Problems on Student Performance    PDF

2004, Vol. 14, No. 2, 17-26

This research investigated the impact of personalizing mathematical word problems using individual student interests on student problem-solving performance. Ten word problems were selected randomly from a mathematics textbook to create a series of two assessments. Both assessments contained problems exactly as they appeared in the textbook and problems that were personalized using student interests based on student-completed interest inventories. Fourth-grade students’ scores on the non-personalized and personalized problems were compared to investigate potential achievement differences. The scores were then disaggregated to examine the impact of reading ability and problem type on the treatment outcomes. The results showed no significant increase in student achievement when the personalization treatment was used regardless of student reading ability or word problem type (t = –.10, p = .46).

About the Authors:
Eric T. Bates is a fourth-grade teacher at Sunnycrest Elementary School in Lake Stevens, Washington. He holds a Master’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in technology in mathematics education.
Lynda R. Wiest is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her professional interests include K–8 mathematics education, educational equity, and teacher education.

Last modified: 30 July 2012.
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