Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Galen J. Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Bill Redmon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Three repeated measures experiments were conducted to determine the efficiency with which medium and low math-achieving, fourth- and fifth-grade students computed two sizes of addition problems using each of four different algorithms. The experimenter selected the conventional algorithm and the hand-held calculator because they are currently in popular use. The experimenter selected the Hutchings' low-stress and factor analysis algorithms because of their demonstrated performance enhancing characteristics and unique design features. The three written algorithms represented a design continuum that facilitated a powerful deductive analysis.

In all conditions the Hutchings' low-stress algorithm produced incrementally superior performance consistent with its unique features. Seven of the eight ANOVA's that compared the groups' mean performances using the four algorithms were significant. Post hoc multiple comparisons showed addition performance using the Hutchings' method to be consistently superior to the other methods.