Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Learning Community

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.

PHY131 LC vs Traditional 131

For only the second time EMCC offered PHY131/MAT231 LC this fall. While N was small (12 and 15) some interesting results were found. On CSEM post test both classes scored above national average of 47% and no real difference in classes. The LC improved dramatically from first exam to last (pre-final) where the other remained flat. It is encouraging that the LC even though the students started at least 1 MAT class behind performed as well and improved up to traditional class scores as semester progressed.

Calc/Phys Learning Community Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

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.

Six Years of Data is In! I love my Calculus/Physics Learning Community.

Learning Community (LC) faculty have been saying for 6 years that the main focus on the LC is to help students in future STEM courses.  Majoring in a STEM field is difficult; math is a barrier for most students.  Approximately 20% of community college students start as a STEM major with 69% of them changing it to non-STEM.  The LC course is designed to help students be successful STEM students and truly understand how math and physics are intertwined.  So, student grades were analyzed from fall 2010 - spring 2016.  Students that went through the LC vs.

Intro to Summations - PowerPoint vs. Handouts

In calculus I, summation notation is introduced for finding area under a curve using an infinite number of rectangles. From Fall 04 to Spring 15, I utilized a Power Point to introduce the concept. A lecture would be given with interactive moments throughout the lesson. Students would try problems on their own and in teams. The scores on the exam averaged a mid to high D. Approximately 40% of the class would show little to no work on summation problems. Each semester, the lesson would be updated. Yet, exam scores stayed at a D average with no improvement on summations.

Using Folders for Cooperative Learning

Note: This CATS is being submitted by Rebecca Baranowski, Michelle Breaux, Teri Graham, Sarah Lockhart and Luvia Rivera. In summer 2015, these math faculty attended the Johnson & Johnson Cooperative Learning Institute at SMCC. One of the suggested activities for increasing cooperative learning is to put folders on the tables at the beginning of class. Inside of the folders is a warm up for students to work on together. The institute suggested having only 1-2 sheets of paper in the folder to "force" students to talk to each other about the documents in the folder.

It's OK to Steal....Learn from the Professionals

For several years now, I have students write lab reports in calculus I, II and differential equations. The set of directions given to students on what to include in the lab report were ones that I created. Every semester, students would ask follow up questions on what to include in their document. Students constantly missed points for missing information/data or not being detailed enough. This past semester, I decided to see if chemistry faculty had a lab report template, and they do! So, Dr.