In fall 2013, Dwain Desbien and I taught MAT221/PHY121 learning community (LC). In spring 2014, 8 of these students went on to take MAT230 with me (calculus II). Here is some info on the LC students as compared to the non LC students.
Nursing students (those enrolled in BIO156) and STEM majors (those enrolled in BIO181) are often underprepared when it comes to math skills. In BIO156/181 one of the places where this becomes evident is with conversion of measurements between units (e.g. milimeters to micrometers etc...). We cover the metric system in one lab, take one quiz the following week and then move on. Many students score badly on the quiz, and never really learn from it or improve.
Challenge: Create a menu driven script that aids in adminisdtering a Linux network or server.
Every semester, logs seem to be the most difficult topic for our students. I have tried to tie in the ideas to real world, show students why and how we use logs, but still no success in them fully understanding the material. The students do numerous homework problems, workbook pages and examples in class. This semester I decided to try something different. The students had a workbook page they did for homework, I checked it after they had time to work. Two class periods later I gave them a worksheet to do in class in their groups. They were to try doing as much of it without using notes.
During the past few years of teaching trig, I have always had students struggle significantly with the trig identity chapter. Every semester I try to tweak the way I teach the material and the practice the students receive but I still have students that just don't grasp the material. Fall 2013 I decided to try extending my lecture days by one class and moving the exam. In doing this I was hoping that more time would lead to better success. It still did not make a significant difference. Thus, this semester I decided to make even bigger changes.
After a student plagiarized a“how to paraphrase” assignment, I was dismayed with student correspondence that I received due its tone and the student’s continued misunderstanding of why it was plagiarism. Because students often avoid paraphrasing, and instead choose to repeatedly use direct quotations, I created a student-instructor role play assignment for ENG 102. See attached assignment for details.
Science faculty are constantly hearing from their students, "This isn't math! I didn't learn this in my math class". Many students are not able to transfer what they learned in math into their science courses. Most of the concepts in MAT091 are crucial to success in science. Throughout the semester, I met with 6 science faculty to discuss HOW students see these topics in science classes.
In my ESL Informal Conversation class, students were introduced to 12 new slang phrases regarding "taking a vacation." I tested students on their ability to use those words by providing a "fill-in the blank activity." I was not happy with the results.
Dance can be very deceptive; how a movement feels or looks in a mirror rarely provides a clear indication of what is happening in the body. To help students acquire an accurate perception and develop a self-directed process for improving their dance training, I combine a Goals and Assessment Sheet with videotaping at the Midterm and Final. In the Fall of 2013, when it was clear that students didn’t understand how to choose a movement assessment, I added descriptive language and included examples on the Goals and Assessment Sheet for Spring of 2014.
In past semesters students were awarded 5 extra credit points for 5 hours of tutoring on their exams. However I started to question if students were going to tutoring just to get the extra credit points or if they really needed the help. In Spring of 2013 I changed the tutoring requirements for all my courses. Students would now be required to complete 10 hours of tutoring throughout the semester and this would count towards 5% of their grade. I wanted students to attend tutoring because they saw a benefit and need, not just to get points. Students were given a tutoring log in which th