Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System


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.

Comparison of New Versus Old "Getting Started" Orientations

Beginning Spring 2016, new E-Learning courses require students to submit the ELSO E-Learning Student Orientation badge. Previous courses have linked to the "Learner Responsibilities Orientation." The same online survey (quiz) used in the MAT182 Hybrid will be used to measure if students "understand" the Getting Started assignments in the MAT212 Hybrid (new) versus the MAT182 Hybrid (old). The survey asks students to “check” the competencies they understood before the module, and to “check” the competencies they understood after the module.

Switching Groups - Encouraging Class Comradery

In the flipped classroom, we spend the majority of class time working in groups at the boards.  I typically only change groups a couple of times in the semester.  My goal for Spring 2016 is to change groups at least twice each class session, meaning that students will work in at least 3 different groups each time the class meets.  Since this hybrid class meets 13 times (excluding 2 days for Midterm and FInal), this means that the students will work with at least 26 different groups.  This will force the students to work with nearly everyone (if not everyone) in the class at least once.  I w

Assessing the Trigonometry Hybrid "Getting Started" Module

The beginning of the course is dedicated to helping students become familiar with the Canvas system, and the specific requirements for submitting online assignments for the class. The requirements for submitting online assignments for this class may be different from other online classes students have had. Especially since MyMathLab isn’t used. In-class and out-of-class practice will prepare students to submit online assignments and check their grade. An online survey (quiz) will measure if students "understand" the Getting Started assignments.

This is not a drawing class! Graphing 3D

Calculus III covers material from calc I/II, but in 3D.  One part of calc III is to graph in 3D.   A program called Maple is used to draw the graph, then students draw this on their exam.  For 6 years, a lecture approach was used to cover this topic.  Overall, students did not do well on this part of the exam (approximately C-D average).  Students had no comprehension as to why the graph looked the way it did and were not able to draw basic shapes.  Also, students were not able to explain if the graph made sense; did the technology provide a correct graph.  

Are they really warming up?

At the beginning of each class I post 3-4 questions on the board to review the previous day's information.  This also allows time for me to take attendance and set up the classroom for the days activity. I would allow about 10 min. for this activity and then have students present their solution.  I did not collect the papers.  There was not much accountability and some student's would purposefully come in late to avoid the work.  

Bringing Labs into Differential Equations

The goal of these assessments was to engage students in hands on experiments similiar to a science lab.   Students always ask why differential equations is so important in STEM fields.  So, two labs were done in my differential equations class.  One was using thermometers and checking their accuracy (how long does it take for the thermometer to get back to body temperature after drinking cold water, doing jumping jacks, and chewing gum (placebo)).  The 2nd one was to verify that a mass spring system follows a 2nd order differential equation.

Practice does make perfect with Graphing in MAT 182

Students in MAT 182 seem to constantly struggle with the graphing section in the course. I have added days in for practice, given worksheets and still results seem to be lower than I was expecting. This current semester I continued with the practice worksheet that has 10 graphing problems where they are to use a table to help them graph, identify amplitude, phase shift and period, as well as of course graph the function. However, this semester I tried giving them two separate packets where all I did was change the numbers around and change a few numbers in the function.

Positive Affirmations and Meditation to Improve Student Performance

I utilize several techniques to assist my students with their anxiety and "fear" of math.

The first day, they journal about their perceptions and past experiences in math.  These give me an overview of my class atmosphere.  I then share how studies in nueroscience show that anxiety potentially affects their learning.  I give them a sheet of positve affirmations (see attached) and ask them place the sheet at the front of their binders.  If a student experiences doubt or verbally expresses "I can't do this", "I am stupid" etc, I ask them to read their yellow sheet :-)