The assessment and validation of mathematic fluency using computer-based chronometric analysis
Elizabeth Hammond Bagley, University of Kentucky, United States
University of Kentucky . Awarded
Fluency has been described as the foundation of all things we do well. Whether we are referring to reading, mathematics or driving a car, the sub-components of these tasks must be fluent if we are to be competent in these domains. The purpose of this study was to examine the state of addition fluency in a sample of students with disabilities in grades four through eight. In schools, mathematical fluency is typically measured using a rate-per-minute metric. When using this type of fluency assessment, it is generally accepted that the student is fluent in that operation only when a specified criterion (e.g. 40 correct digits-per-minute) is reached. However, it has been hypothesized that a rate-per-minute metric can lead to the identification of "false positives," that is, students are not truly fluent even if they meet the criterion for fluency. In this study, 315 special-needs students were assessed using a rate-per-minute measure to determine their level of fluency on the 100 basic addition facts. The result of this assessment found only 40 of the 315 students able to attain a rate of 40 correct digits-per-minute on this assessment. A follow-up chronometric analysis assessment (i.e., response latency per fact) was administered to the 40 students reaching the 40 digits-per-minute criterion on the rate-per-minute measure. In addition, the chronometric assessment also was administered to the top 10 performing students on the rate measure in grades four through eight. These results showed that only two students demonstrated true fact fluency for addition, thus supporting the "false positive" hypothesis. Implications for both assessing fact fluency and for providing fluency interventions are discussed.
Bagley, E.H. The assessment and validation of mathematic fluency using computer-based chronometric analysis. Ph.D. thesis, University of Kentucky.
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