Massive Changes to 1st 4 Weeks of MAT276

Submitted by Becky Baranowski on

Need:  Streamline 1st 4 weeks of Differential Equations.  Create clearer expectations, journal instructions, MATLAB directions, problem sets, and activities.  Alleviate student confusion.  

Why:  From observing the class, reviewing the number of questions I received during class/ email/exams, students were clearly not understanding what was expected of them.  Also, students continually struggled using MATLAB during the exam and were needing help.  Another issue was students not including key information on the exam, such as written statements and units for all problems.  While these were explained during class, it was obvious that students still did not understand what was expected.  

Plan:  To see detailed plan which includes updates to workbook, journal, and class activities, please see attached document.  

Results:  While I cannot say exactly what worked due to making many changes, I will absolutely implement all changes in Fall 2018.  Please see attached for more information.  

Completed Full Cycle
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mat276-changescats.docx 16.59 KB
Average: 4 (2 votes)


Catherine Cochran Wed, 02/14/2018 - 3:48pm

Hi Becky,

Great strategy to improve your student's learning.  This appeals to all types of learning styles too.  I love how you collaborated with other faculty, and then you implemented the best practices into your classes.  

Great job! 



Olga Tsoudis Sat, 02/17/2018 - 8:15pm

HI Becky

Thank you for sharing. I also struggle in knowing what changes made the impact.

Perhaps, it is an interaction of all of them. A journal is a great idea in all courses.

I had attended a workshop on campus years ago and the presenter stressed journal reflections

as an excellent learning tool


Teri Graham Fri, 03/02/2018 - 7:27am


I think any form of reflection and integration is a powerful tool in Math.  I look forward to seeing over the semesters how this new tool has benefited your students and I am sure you will see that it has.