Laplace Party Spring 2019

Submitted by Christopher McNeal on
What is the Purpose of the Assessment?

Students in MAT276, Differential Equations, constantly stuggle on Laplace Transformations. The passing rate on this exam tends to be low in this course.  

Describe the necessity for this assessment

Laplace Transforms is a heavily focused topic. It is introduced towards the end of the semester and is tested before the last week of classes, which can be a stressful time for students.

Describe how the practice will be implemented

The Laplace Party is an organized study session on the Laplace Transforms exam for MAT276. This was a 2-day study session was held in a classroom for 3 hours both times. Students recieved a review packet of problems and exercises, and then instructed to work out those problems on whiteboards. Tutors and the instructor were present in the session to answer any immediate questions. 

Interpret, compare, and describe the results

The results of the MAT276 Laplace Exam pass rates of Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 are as follows. Fall 2018 represents the average rate of semesters prior to Spring 2019.

Fall 2018 - 16/25 students,  64% pass rate

Spring 2019 - 25/29 students, 86% pass rate




After analyzing, and reflecting on the outcome, what are the next steps?

The success of the Laplace Party increased the exam pass rate by 22 percertage points. The Academic Success Center will continue to schedule Laplace Parties for future semesters to support MAT276 students. We will coordinate with current and future MAT276 instructors to make these students score high on the Laplace Transforms exam. 


Differential Equations is a foundation mathematics class for all Engineering. Many STEM students who major in Engineering will be taking this course at Estrella. Laplace Transforms are part of the MAT276 curriculum and is widely used in the field of electrical engineering. The Academic Success Center provides tutoring support services for STEM courses through in-person tutoring, group study sessions, and content guidance. 

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Average: 5 (1 vote)


Becky Baranowski Wed, 10/02/2019 - 12:47pm

Chris came to me with this idea in Spring 2019, so we tried it.  I could not believe how successful this study session was with the exam results.  We showcased this as a "party" and had fun with the idea.  Students who had never shown up for a study session before came to this.  Like Chris said, historically, the passing rate of this is poor (each semester varies, but the average passing rate is about 65% of the students).  I loved seeing 10-15 students standing around the room at white boards, working together during their personal time.  It was a great collaboration with the tutoring center.