The effects of choice on academic achievement in mathematics

Providing opportunities for choice has been demonstrated in past research to reduce problem behaviors, and increase on-task engagement and task performance. The current study sought to also examine the effects of within-task choice on accuracy and task duration in an academic setting. Participants were four adolescents (15-17 years old) enrolled in a remedial summer school program for Algebra 1. Using an ABAB/BABA design, results indicated that within-task choice was not an effective method for improving math scores or reducing the time it took students to complete assignments. Possible reasons for the current findings, various study limitations, and future choice-based research directions are discussed.