Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT: REDUCING MATH PHOBIA AND RELATED TEST ANXIETY IN A GEOLOGY CLASS FOR NON-SCIENCE MAJORS
Math and test anxiety are prevalent in society, and tend to be common in geology classes for non-science majors. Students in these classes often excel in other areas but believe they are not able to do math or to do well on science tests, and this disabling math and test anxiety prevents students from learning. This recursive cycle serves to confirm what the students already believe about themselves: they are poor at math and science. In order to prepare the students to take exams, I used formative assessment to help reduce math and test anxiety. To provide students with the training to succeed in higher stress exams, I gave weekly quizzes that were very challenging, graded harshly, and completely correctable. Students were encouraged to correct their quizzes, and the corrected grade completely replaced the original grade. By the mid term, 100% of the students had mastered rate calculations, and when retested at the final, 80% of the students retained the ability to solve the rate calculations. Students also commented feeling less nervous about the midterm exam because they knew they could answer the math questions.