Date of Award

Fall 1985

Project Type


Program or Major

Mathematics Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to investigate effects of field-dependence/independence (f-d/i), sex, and different types of audiovisual remedial instruction on mathematics achievement (Experiment I); second to investigate the effects of student and grader cognitive style (f-d/i) and sex on calculus test grades (Experiment II).

One hundred fifty first-semester calculus students, identified by an algebra/trigonometry pretest as requiring trigonometry remediation, served as subjects for Experiment I. As measures of f-d/i, the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) and The Miniaturized Rod and Frame Test (MRFT) were administered to the subjects, who were apportioned into six experimental groups, representing three remedial conditions: dialog, monolog, and control. Following each of the five slide-tape sessions, subjects were posttested on the trigonometry skills presented during the session. The calculus unit test requiring trigonometry measured calculus achievement.

Analyses revealed significant correlations between GEFT and MRFT, and between these measures and mathematics achievement, with different correlational patterns for men and women. Multivariate analyses of covariance indicated significant main effects favoring women on the postsession measures. Other significant main and interaction effects are discussed. Within the female group, treatment appeared to favor low and midrange scorers on the GEFT.

For Experiment II, 41 calculus unit exams, that had been graded in a face-to-face student/grader arrangement, were selected for analysis. Available for the analysis were pretest, GEFT, and MRFT scores for the students, and GEFT and MRFT scores for the graders. The 41 exams were cleaned of all grader markings and regarded in a non-face-to-face situation by another group of 41 graders. Univariate analyses of covariance revealed a significant grader GEFT x grader sex x student sex interaction in the face-to-face situation, and a significant student MRFT effect in the non-face-to-face situation. Grades given in the face-to-face situation were significantly higher than grades in the non-face-to-face situation.

Results suggest that the GEFT and MRFT produce different patterns of significant effects in analysis, and that GEFT and MRFT may have different predictive value for each of the sexes.