Data on the Effect of Active Learning Heuristic Problem-Solving Approach on Students’ Performance and Attitude towards Mathematics Word Problems

Published: 28 November 2022| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/cb4pmz9rnk.2


In this article, we present data for the corresponding authors’ Ph.D. research project in mathematics education. The study investigated the direct and indirect relationship between students’ attitude towards, and performance in mathematics word problems (MWTs), mediated by the active learning heuristic problem-solving (ALHPS) approach. Specifically, the data reports on the direct and indirect correlation between students' performance and their attitude towards linear programming (LP) word tasks (ATLPWTs). Four types of data were collected from 608 grade 11 students from eight secondary schools (both public and private). The participants were from two districts: Mukono and Mbale in Central Uganda and Eastern Uganda respectively. A mixed methods approach with a quasi-experimental non-equivalent group design was adopted. The data collection tools included standardized LP achievement tests (LPATs) for pre-test and post-test, the attitude towards mathematics inventory–short form (ATMI-SF), a standardized active learning heuristic problem-solving tool, and an observation scale. The data were collected from October 2020 to February 2021. All four tools were validated by mathematics experts, pilot-tested, and found reliable and suitable before they were administered to sampled students. To achieve the purpose of the study, eight intact classes from the sampled schools were selected using the cluster random sampling method. Of these, and by a toss of a coin, four were randomly assigned to the comparison group while the other four were randomly assigned to the treatment group. All teachers from the treatment group were trained on the application of the ALHPS approach in December 2021 before intervention. The participants’ demographic data (identification numbers, age, gender, school status, and school location) were presented with their raw scores obtained in the pre-test and post-test. The LPMWPs test items were administered to the students to explore and assess their problem-solving (PS), graphing (G), and Newman error analysis strategies. Students' percentage scores in the pretest and posttest were based on mathematizing word problems to optimization of LP problems. Data were analyzed in line with the purpose of the study, and the stated objectives. This data supplements other data sets and empirical findings on the mathematization of mathematics word problems, problem-solving strategies, graphing and error analysis prompts. This may serve and provide some insights into the extent to which ALHPS strategies may support students' conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and reasoning among learners in secondary school mathematics. The LPMWPs test items in the supplementary data files can also act as a basis for the application of mathematics in real-life scenarios. The data is intended to develop, support, and strengthen students' problem-solving and critical thinking skills to enhance instruction and assessment in secondary schools and beyond.


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University of Rwanda College of Education


Mathematics Education