Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Examining the Alternate Ranking Method for Grouping: Using Mixed-Ability Grouping to Enhance Learning

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education


Teacher Education

First Advisor

Allan Bellman

Second Advisor

Tom Brady

Third Advisor

Renee Cunningham

Relational Format



This paper explores strategic grouping in a Southern, suburban high school mathematics classroom. Two grouping techniques were implemented on review days in Algebra II classes in which composition based on ability varied strategically. The researcher examined the Alternate Ranking Method for Grouping compared to normal heterogeneous grouping for two units. Formal observations were conducted, and data were collected in two classrooms with three sections of students. A high school mathematics teacher was also interviewed. The researcher paid careful attention to student achievement, engagement, collaboration, and student and teacher perceptions of the Alternate Ranking Method for Grouping compared to normal heterogeneous grouping. Quantitative data suggests significant differences between the two grouping techniques for some factors and sections. Qualitative data supports these mixed results. Conclusions suggest further research with varied pre-assessment design, group size, and study length may need to be conducted. Related research may also need to be conducted focusing on low-ranked students, non-review day learning episodes, and other mathematics courses.


The author requested to remove access to the thesis on 01/12/2020.

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