Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Building Relationships/Community

Note cards in a math classroom

Graphing Linear Equations is one of the most difficult concepts for students enrolled in MAT 091. There are many different equations, formulas, and concepts that all build on each other. Every year my students struggle with this exam and no matter how I presented this information or interventions I made, nothing seemed to make it better. In previous years I had suggested to students to make note cards but I didn't give them any guidance on how to create them and I did not follow through to make sure they completed the note cards.

Stimulating the body to stimulate the mind is statistically significant

After discussing the positive effects of exercise on student learning with EMCC's fitness and wellness director, Lyle Bartlett, I employed a rigorous walking schedule for a minimum of 15 minutes at the beginning of class in one of my statistics courses while another section served as the control group where no class exercise took place. Less than 15% of students in both groups self-reported exercising more than two times per week making groups comparable. I used an independent samples t-test to compare mean quiz scores from the treatment (e.g., those who walked) and control groups.

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.

Relax Before the Quiz. Laugh!

I observe many students frantically cramming before quizzes, stressing themselves out and potentially reducing their academic peformance due to test anxiety. Research shows test anxiety could diminish academic performance.  To test if anxiety reducing activities lead to better test performance, I randomly led a anxiety reduction activity with two of my sections (stretching exercises, spontaneous laughter) and did not with three of the others, and compared results (see spreadsheet).

Student Learning Tendencies: Online vs. In-Person Writing Center Submissions

I wanted to find the most beneficial method for students to understand their writing revisions. 

Based on their learning styles tendencies, I compared the their VAK Learning Styles Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Swinburne University of Technology) results with their method of submission (online or in-person) to the Writing Center. 

Perpetual Canon: Literature Circles in World Literature

In ENH202: World Literature after the Renaissance I utilized Literature Circles as a method for creating stronger community in online classes, deepening the engagement between students, and practicing group work in prep for the course final. Students were in 3 groups for 4 weeks at a time, each group given additional readings to read, analyze and report out using the Literature Circles roles. The student in the Connector role would collect the student’s work and post it in Canvas for grading and students would switch roles on their own each week.

What Did You Say? The "I Am Human" Campaign

The "I Am Human" Campaign focuses on choosing language that creates an inclusive culture demonstrating social awareness. Students watched the "I Am Human" video in addition to reading about the campaign on the EMCC website. Students participated in a pre/post survey and discussion board directly connected to the campaign. Their weekly video reflection and final journal entry are typical assignments in the Sociology courses. The students mentioned the campaign in both assignments as examples of what impacted them in the course. Please see the attached document on the results.

Pictures save the day!

The first step to building professional relationships of respect with students is to know and use their name. I have problems remembering the names of some of my students that are in my hybrid classes, since we only meet once per week. The Great Southwest Teaching Conference in October is an annual conferenced for sharing out of good teaching ideas. A colleague I met there confessed to the same dilemma, and shared their solution - a picture of each student at the beginning of the semester!