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.
Team Teaching – Learning Communities
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.
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.
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.
This CATS is to discuss the difference between the final grade results on my traditional calculus I class vs. the one in a learning community with PHY121.
The first project in my EDU classes each semester is a student investigation into a hot topic in the education field. Students must submit a Ppt and then present on the topic, using the Ppt as their audio-visual aide. Their grade is a combination of assessing their presentation and their hard-copy Ppts. To grade their hard copies, I use a Ppt Rubric (see attachmed). Historically the lowest score on the rubric has been "References" where they must accurately cite at least two credible references. The average score on this has been 2.0 out of 5 points.