Layla Potts

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School


Committee Member

Roxanne Katus, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Tanweer Shapla, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Khairul Islam, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Natalie Dove, Ph.D.


Qualitative studies of students' perceptions on small-group work are limited, and few off er insights on the perceptions of women and minority students, for whom quantitative research suggests that small-group work is most beneficial. The aim of this research project is to conduct a qualitative analysis on the perceptions of women and minority students on their small-group learning experiences in collegiate mathematics courses. We conducted a Likert-scale survey of 114 Eastern Michigan University undergraduate students who were enrolled in a cross section of mathematics courses. The data were analyzed using statistical measures such as the frequency and modes of each response, as well as by utilizing a chi-squared test in MATLAB to test for statistical significance between the differences among students' responses with a 95% confidence interval. The survey analysis examines the roles gender and ethnicity play in how students feel about their experiences in small-group learning environments, the factors that shape these perceptions, and the resulting impacts on their perceived ability to understand the material. While students' perceptions of small-group work in collegiate mathematics courses were generally positive among all groups of students surveyed, some differences were found in their perceptions of group work based on gender and ethnicity.