Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Learning Community

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.

Comparing Final Exam Scores

Every semester, students perfrom poorly on the final exam for calculus I (MAT22X); the average is typically a D/F.  Students are given an indepth review guide of all topics in the course along with the answer key that includes detailed steps on how to do each problem.  I often make changes to my pedagogy, handouts, activities, exams, homework, and other assessments every semester. In Spring 17, two main things changed in my MAT221 course.  

Creation of a Calculus Concept Inventory Exam

Several years ago, Holly Dison, math faculty, found a calculus concept pre-post test to give in our MAT22X courses.  This pre-post exam was copyrighted by another college, but approval was given to use it in our classes as long as we did not share the results with anyone.  The exam consisted of 22 multiple choice questions.  Each question is designed to see if students understand the CONCEPT; the problems are not procedural.  Each multiple choice option is designed to be common misconceptions.

Calculus Common Questions

Since Fall 2014 , the calculus instructors have been working on creating common questions to have on the final exam for calculus I.  Faculty (both full and part time) meet to discuss pedagogy, common questions and creation of a pre-post test.  The common questions are the first half of our final exam with the 2nd half written by each individual faculty member.  Each semester, the questions are looked over and kept or modified.  The purpose of the common questions is to make sure all calculus faculty are covering "core" topics in MAT22X.  The attached data covers S16 and F16 results.

PHY131/MAT231 LC Integration

In our first run of the PHY131/MAT231 learning community (LC) in Fall 16, we tried a format of seting up a physics problem on an exam, and then use the resulting integral to be solved on the math portion of the exam. We would like to do this for each of the 5 exams in Fall 17. This would allow/require us to focus on intgrals from day one and reorder material in both classes. Some reordering was done in Fall 16, but after our first time around, we realize that more needs to be changed.