order to search for designs that have a significant impact on studentsuccess, and consideration should be given to a study of intrinsic andextrinsicfactorsthataffectstudentsuccess.Finally,furtherstudyshould be done to determine why certain topics are difficult and atwhatpointinstudentunderstandingabarrierishit.Inseparatestudies, Habre & Abboud (2006) and Rowland & Jovanoski (2004)found that calculus students had difficulty with the concept of rate ofchange.Becausebothstudentsandinstructorsinthisstudyalsoidentified related rates as a topic of difficulty, it is recommended as afocus for future study and for any calculus instructor wanting tobegin a course redesign.LAURA J. PYZDROWSKI ET AL.550

CONCLUSIONThe research conducted in this study provides an updated snapshot ofthe challenges faced by a specific set of students in general calculuscourses and validates findings outlined in the review of literature. Inaddition, results further the field by demonstrating that placementtests and attitude inventories in combination are accurate indicators ofsuccessful completion of calculus. It is important for there to be areliableplacementsystemusedsothatstudentsareguidedintoappropriate mathematics courses. Appropriate placement and studentadvising will address issues associated with inadequate or forgottenbackground content knowledge and can impact, in a positive way,students’attitudes and success in a course.The teaching strategies outlined in the discussion (i.e. encouragingthe use of meta-cognition, incorporating more conceptual questionsinto class discussions, and setting up opportunities for study groupsand recitations) provide avenues that affect students’attitudes andhence their course performance. In addition, instructors should stressto students the importance of attending class, asking questions, andseeking help during office hours. Teachers often offer a quick, butmeaningful review of algebra and trigonometry at the beginning of acalculus course. That action seems justified because both students andteachersinthisstudycommunicatedtheimportanceofastrongbackgroundinalgebraandtrigonometryforsuccessincalculus.However,asaresponsetothelackofpre-requisitecontentknowledge,theEngineeringDepartmentplanstoimplementanonline, voluntary review program prior to the beginning of the fallsemester and the Mathematics Department has implemented a“just intime”version of calculus such that algebra and trigonometry reviewis conducted when needed in a now two-semester long introductorycourse. Research on the impact of these models is underway.Student attitude had the strongest correlation with student performance,buttheseattitudesareinfluencednotonlybypreviousstudentexperiences and preparation but by underlying psychosocial variables.Students with the confidence to implement student-success strategies tendto be successful. Teachers, therefore, should find ways to build students’confidence within the course as well as skills. And it is important tomotivate students to complete homework with conceptual understanding.

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