As stated in a previous CATS (Conceputual Understanding in PHY121), the focus of this assessments is on the conceptual understanding of the Learning Community compared with the traditional Phy 121 course. Current data continue to show that the overall learning of the learning community student is equivalent those of the traditional student. The gains over the last two semesters haven’t been significantly different to previous semesters. The spring semester the average gain on the FCI for both the LC and the regular 121 were about equivalent, .65 and .7 respectively. The spring semester both classes were a bit lower but not statistically different, .5 and .6 respectively. In all cases all classes exceeded the nationally average.
Despite the change in physics instructor, there was little change in the overall FCI scores, or retention/success. These remained the same but we are seeing a difference on long term success in the subsequent courses STEM, as demonstrated by Becky in the CATS, “Six Years of Data is In! ”
So, where will you go from here, Angela! Is your conclusion that LCs don't work for you, or does Becky's research compel you to keep trying?
Now that you have had a year under your belt for the LC, what are you and Ernie going to try? Any changes you'd like to make? I am so excited that you two are teaching this course and hope it goes great.
Pete and Becky, I think there is value is continuing the LC's. They help move students ahead through their program faster; therefore, they should be continued and evidence shows they are worth our time. The quality of education is better, period. I think from my point of view the FCI data is still important to tabulate as evidence; however, I may start looking at other parts of the learning community like creating more co-assigments and exam questions. I think the long term data makes our strongests case to continue and expand these communities; that doesn't mean we do not need to improve and try new things.
As for changes for this year.... I think that Ernie and I will take first semester to get to know each other in this new partnership. Ernie will be learning the physics and that will take time. I think we need to take one step at a time. We will see.
Hi Angela - just wanted to follow up on this CATS since you have a different instructor with you these past 2 semesters. I am curious to see your pre-post test results for fall and this spring. My guess is that having a different calculus instructor hasn't really made a difference, but who knows? Thanks!