At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
For:

Practice Guide (findings for Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students)
Rating:

Meets WWC standards without reservations
because it is a randomized controlled trial with low attrition.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Conceptual knowledge outcomes—Substantively important positive effect found for the domain
Outcome measure

Comparison

Period

Sample

Intervention mean

Comparison mean

Significant?

Improvement index

Evidence tier

Conceptual knowledge (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

0 Days

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
105 students

58.27

47.93

No




Conceptual knowledge (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

2 Weeks

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
101 students

63.58

54.33

No




Procedural flexibility outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome measure

Comparison

Period

Sample

Intervention mean

Comparison mean

Significant?

Improvement index

Evidence tier

Procedural flexibility (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

0 Days

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
105 students

63.06

53.37

Yes



Procedural flexibility use (% use of methods)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

0 Days

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
105 students

48.36

33.33

No




Procedural flexibility (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

2 Weeks

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
101 students

70.65

57.19

Yes



Procedural flexibility use (% use of methods)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

2 Weeks

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
101 students

61.03

39.33

Yes



Procedural knowledge outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Outcome measure

Comparison

Period

Sample

Intervention mean

Comparison mean

Significant?

Improvement index

Evidence tier

Procedural knowledge (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

0 Days

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
98 students

53.78

55.85

No




Procedural knowledge (% correct)

Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students vs.
Other intervention

2 Weeks

"Methods" vs "equivalent" comparison, where the intervention group saw the same set of questions solved in with two different methods.;
94 students

67.29

66.03

No




Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

Female: 50%
Male: 50%

Rural, Suburban, Urban


Race
Asian 

5% 
Black 

5% 
Other or unknown 

1% 
White 

89% 

Ethnicity
Hispanic 

1% 
Not Hispanic or Latino 

99% 
Setting
Participating students came from three schools (in three different settingsone was a rural public school, one was a suburban public school, and one was an urban private school).
Study sample
There were 81 girls and 81 boys participating. The participating students were predominately Caucasian (5% were African American, 5% were Indian/Asian and 1% were Hispanic). 14% of participants received free or reduced price lunch. The mean age of participants was 13.1 years old.
Intervention Group
During the intervention, students studied the workedexample pairs with a partner and answered explanation prompts designed to guide attention to the example features targeted in each condition. Students also solved practice problems and received minilectures during the intervention." (p. 533) Students were also given homework assignments at the end of each class period."
Materials. "Packets of worked examples were created for each condition. On each page of the packet, a pair of worked examples was presented side by side…. The packets were as similar as possible. They all contained four instances of each of the three equation types for a total of 12 worked examples. Half the worked examples illustrated the conventional solution method and half illustrated the compositevariable shortcut method. The primary difference between the packets was how the worked examples were paired. In the methods packets, each workedexample pair contained the same equation, solved using the conventional and shortcut method. … In the problem types packets, each workedexample pair contained two different types of equations, each solved with the same method. For example, a combine composite equation and a divide composite equation were shown together, each solved using the shortcut method …. In the equivalent packets, each workedexample pair contained two instances of the same problem type solved with the same solution method. Across all packets, each solution step was labeled using one of four step labels (distribute, combine, add–subtract on both, multiply– divide on both). …
"Each pair of worked examples was presented along with two questions prompting students to compare and contrast the targeted dimensions for a given condition. … questions in the methods condition focused on comparing the solution steps, including their feasibility and efficiency; those in both the problem types and equivalent conditions focused on comparing both the problem features and the particular solution steps. Each packet also included one guided practice problem, on which students were asked to use a particular shortcut method to solve a new equation, and four independent practice problems, on which students could choose their solution methods. In the methods condition, students were asked to solve two practice problems each in two different ways, whereas four different equations were presented in the packets for the other conditions. …
"Three brief homework assignments were developed, primarily using problems in the students’ regular textbooks. The homework assignments had six problems each and were review problems similar to those solved in class. They were the same across all conditions." (p. 533534)
Comparison Group
As stated in the intervention description cell, there were three groups compared: (1) comparing similar problems solved using the same method, (2) comparing different problem types solved with the same solution method, and (3) comparing different solution methods to the same problem. Students received packets of practice problems to work with. This analysis compares group (3) to group (1).