Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Learning Community

Journal Checklist

As evidenced in multiple CATS written about journaling in STEM, faculty from chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology utilize journals to improve students' deeper level of learning.  Critical thinking skills and written communication skills (EMCC ILOs) are important in STEM. I want to ensure my students leave my own course ready and prepared for the other STEM courses.  Also, these journals are used to asses physics' classroom learning outcomes.  Please see attached documents for sample survey results and journal entries. 

Scaffolding Handout: Convergence/Divergence Series

Update (1 week after CATS was originally submitted): After submitting this CATS, students began learning about Power Series (which is one reason to learn Convergence/Divergence of series discussed in this CATS).  WIth the scaffolding handout, they were able to come up with how to deteremine convergence/divergence of Power Series on their own!  Again, I typically have to do a lot more lecture, but I didn't.  The scaffolding handouts layed the ground work for this next section, and the students were highly engaged, talking, collaborating, and coming up with concepts on their own.

Limits at Infinity

Update: In Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, I continued to use the scaffolding handout that addressed conceptual understanding of limits at infinity (as described in this CATS). This handout addresses EMCC's ILO of critical thinking along with the CLO of choosing the most appropriate tool/technique to solve a problem. In both Fall and Spring semesters, I had similar results with roughly 75% of students (both semesters) answering the limits at infinity question correctly on the final.

Mastery Learning for One Exam

Angela McClure and I worked on this as part of our calc I/phy I learning community.  She and I plan to re-evaluate this in the Spring and I will also try this in the other learning community.  I will be reaching out to some of my calculus colleagues to see if they are interested in trying this with some of our exams that are more "skill" based an not conceptual.  Angela mentioned possibly looking into doing something like this with vectors in PHY121.  Is this worth the time and effort with doing this?  Are students willing to take advantage of this opportunity?

Rules of Exponents and Fractions are Student's Nemesis in Calculus!

Please note:  From speaking with faculty in the prerequisite coureses, they are incorporating reviews of rules of exponents and fractions.  But, at what detail and how, I am unsure.  Hopefully with the creation of SLOs and having Guided Pathways, we can come up with some activities and best practices as a group to help students understand these two concepts better.  I am not happy with the idea of just accepting that students will not be able to integrate a fractional problem that requires rules of exponents.  There has to be something out there to help our students be successful with this.

Calculus I Workbook Changes

In fall 2010, I wrote a workbook to replace the $250 textbook.  Please note:  I do not receive royalties from this workbook.  The workbook (wb) was used in the calculus/physics learning community as well as traditional calculus classes by me only.  Over the years, I have made modification to the wb.  As I became more comfortable with the flow of the course, changing my pedagogy and curriculum because of what I have learned from Dwain and Angela in the learning community,  and really starting to grasp where students struggle and why, I adjusted the workbook.

Common Final Calculus (Traditional vs. Learning Community)

Not all faculty have the time or nor want to teach in the calculus/physics learning community.  So, how do we help faculty who teach stand alone calculus courses?  Also, stand alone calculus courses do not have another instructor present to help emphasize concepts.  So, Becky is teaching a stand alone calculus course in Fall 18 to see if she can cut down on some competencies, incorporate labs, and she will compare her course to other instructors who teach non-learning community calculus courses.  Did Becky's class perform the same, worse or better on the common final?  If worse, why?

3rd Times a Charm – MAT231/PHY131 LC Qualitative Review

The purpose of this CATS is to document a qualitative review on my experience in the 2nd semester calculus/physics learning community (MAT231/PHY131).   Second semester physics covers charges, electric and magnetic fields, circuits, current (etc), and these concepts have been quite difficult for me to grasp and tie into calculus without Dwain’s help.  The attached narrative provides my previous experiences, current experience, and plan for the future .   

CATS Nip: Increasing Gen Ed Abilities Assessment Participation

Gen Ed Abilities assessment participation is low I developed customized scoring templates for each section to simplify data entry, automate tabulation, &  streamline reporting by pre-populating term, instructor, course, section, and student ID.  Outcomes:

Student Journaling in Math

For many years now, physics/chemistry faculty require students to journal after each class period (note: there are other faculty on campus who have been journaling for years, as well).  In Fall 2017, a few non-phy/chem faculty incorporated journaling in their classrooms for the first time.  In Spring 2018, during week of accountability, approximately 15 instructors met and discussed best practices in journaling.