Title page for ETD etd-08012012-040207

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Orey, Michael Andrew
URN etd-08012012-040207
Title Error patterns :what do they tell us?
Degree Master of Arts
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burton, John K. Committee Chair
Brown, Catherine A. Committee Member
Miller, David P. Committee Member
Underhill, Robert G. Committee Member
  • Computer managed instruction.
Date of Defense 1987-10-15
Availability restricted
An analysis of computer diagnostic systems shows that

most systems use answer data (product) for their analyses.

This process of determining an error pattern, in addition,

does little in the way of telling a teacher what should be

done to help the child. This two-fold problem, extant in

all computerized arithmetic diagnostic systems to date,

prompted this study which sought other data sources in order

to bring about more accurate computer analyses. A cognitive

orientation suggested that the use of clinical diagnostic

techniques should be explored as an alternative to error

analysis. Essentially, these two approaches were compared.

That is, to what extent does error pattern diagnosis (an

essentially product oriented approach) and clinical

mathematical diagnosis (a process oriented approach)


Participants for this study were five, eight year olds

from southwest Virginia. These children completed a test

that was developed by Van Lehn (1982). This test was

analyzed for error patterns and the children were selected

on the basis of their error patterns. These children were

then tested in a clinical setting using a measure developed

for this study in cooperation with a clinical mathematics


The analysis was done on the results of these two

measures and the protocols collected during the clinical

interviews. The results indicated that there was no clear

connection between the two types of diagnosis, but the

analysis did yield a broader description of each individual

participant. That is, error analysis or clinical mathematics

alone does not completely describe an individual's knowledge

of mathematics.

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