Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Kenneth Vos




Student-Authored Word Problems and Their Impact on High School Mathematics Students’ Engagement

Jake Heidelberger

May, 2012


The focus of this action research was the impact of writing their own word problems on student engagement and attitudes toward word problems. I focused on two sections of Advanced Algebra 2, mostly junior year students, during the linear functions as mathematical models unit of study. Data were collected from preliminary and concluding surveys, daily exit slips, and student interviews. After reviewing the traditional approach to solving word problems, I asked my students to use the problems we worked through as a guide and to write their own word problem and its solution key. As a result of this action research project, student confidence increased and more students saw the connections between mathematics and the real world. Breaking down the barriers and obstacles that prevent students from succeeding is at the very core of education, and the creative elements inherent within student-authored word problems certainly seem to have benefited my students. Based on my results, I fully intend to explore this teaching method further in my future teaching career, and to share it with my colleagues.

Advisor: Dr. Kenneth E. Vos

Included in

Education Commons