Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Mathematics Education



Major Advisor

Laurie O. Cavey, Ph.D.


The introduction of Common Core State Standards motivated K-12 teachers to look for ways to engage students in thinking differently about mathematics. Asking students to generate their own examples is one strategy that has proven to be beneficial to student learning for students in advanced math courses. This study was designed to determine if asking students to generate their own examples would be beneficial to student learning for high school students in a slower paced second year Algebra course.

This study occurred during a two week unit of instruction focused on the concept of function. The participants were Juniors and Seniors in a course designed for lower achieving students. The unit was designed to address specific learning goals associated with the concept of function and the use of different representations. A pre-/post-test and example generation tasks were designed to align with the unit goals. Example generation tasks were used on a daily basis as part of the course.

Results of the pre-/post-test indicate that student performance on functions-related tasks improved by the end of the unit. Analysis of student examples revealed patterns in the types of representations of functions students used when asked to generate an example. At the beginning of the unit, students primarily used one form of representation, but by the end of the unit students used several types of representations.