Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

First Committee Member

Dennis Parker

Second Committee Member

Savita Bhagi


Students have often struggled in developmental math courses. Educators and policymakers have engaged in efforts to improve student learning and pass rates in these courses. One instructional model that has shown promise in improving student outcomes is the Emporium Model. The traditional lecture model of teaching is still the predominant model in practice. Research has found that student background characteristics are important factors in predicting success in developmental math. Some studies have been done investigating the comparative effectiveness of the Traditional and Emporium models, but little research has been performed in whether the effect of course format on student outcomes vary based on student background characteristics. This ex post facto study aimed to fill this gap in the knowledge base by comparing student performance in intermediate algebra based on course format after controlling for High School GPA, college entrance exam scores, gender, and ethnicity. The study further investigated the moderating effects of High School GPA, college entrance exam scores, gender, and ethnicity on course format in impacting student grades. The sample consisted of students who took intermediate algebra between the fall 2015 and fall 2019 semesters at a mid-sized private university on the West Coast of the United States. A series of sequential multiple regressions were performed to investigate the research questions. There was insufficient evidence to suggest that course format was a significant predictor of student grades after controlling for the other variables. No moderating effects for any of the investigated variables were detected. This suggests colleges and universities may wish to offer courses in multiple formats to give students and faculty a choice in how to take or teach a developmental math course. Care should be taken to not generalize the results of this study too broadly. The many ethnicity categories limited the power of this study to detect potential differences in student performance between the Emporium and Traditional models. Further studies should be performed investigating comparisons between the Traditional model and other instructional formats. Studies investigating potential moderating effects of student affective characteristics including math anxiety levels, goal achievement orientation, and confidence levels on course format could provide valuable insights to this issue.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License