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Math Lab: A Self-Guided Approach to Teaching Developmental Math

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## Math Lab: A Self-Guided Approach to Teaching Developmental Math

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**Presenters: Beth Kilmer and Kari Mueller**Northeastern Junior College Math Lab: A Self-Guided Approach to Teaching Developmental Math**Where We’ve Been**• Fall 2008 • 119 students enrolled in MAT030/060 combo • 55 passed MAT030 (46%) • 32 passed MAT030/060 combo • 27% pass rate for MAT030/060 combo**Roadblocks to Success**• Roadblock #1 – Unable to maintain a Pace that satisfied the needs of all students • Roadblock # 2 - 4 Instructors + 2 Textbooks Inconsistency • Roadblock #3 - Student Apathy**The Search for Something New**• Visited several sister colleges searching for best practices • Self-paced math lab setting offered by Trinidad State Junior College addressed each roadblock • Students were allowed to work at own Pace • Requirements and materials were Consistent across all sections regardless of instructor • Student “Buy-In” to self-paced concept was high**The Final Destination – Math Lab!**• How It Looks • MAT030/060 combo; 8 weeks per class • Class meets 3 days per week for 1 hour 45 minutes • Class size increased from 15 to 30 students • Two instructors assigned to team teach each section • One learning assistant (student tutor) provided by Comprehensive Learning Center (CLC)**Keys to Success**• How It Works • Required materials include a customized textbook and a homework packet designed by NJC Math Lab instructors • Students are provided with a Course Schedule to help them pace themselves to complete the course in the allotted 8 week format • Class time is devoted to self and/or small group study, one-on-one instruction and assessment • Students who don’t complete the course in A-term are allowed to continue working**Keys to Success**How It Works - Homework • Homework includes short answer study questions designed to: • Encourage students to read front matter • Promote note taking • Enhance study skills • Homework is checked by instructors to monitor progress and identify students needing extra help • Students maintain a homework notebook that is collected for grading during the final**Keys to Success**How It Works – Assessment • Quizzes • “One Shot Deal” • Designed to highlight areas where students need more work prior to taking the exam • Exams • Students are allowed 3 opportunities to earn a 75% or better on each chapter exam • Helps to reduce test anxiety • Requires student to prove mastery of material before moving on • Cumulative final exam – limited to two opportunities**Keys to Success**How It Works – Attendance • Students are required to sign an attendance contract • Excused vs. Unexcused/Tardy • Repercussions • Rewards • Attendance records maintained in D2L**Detours**Stuff That Didn’t Work • Original textbook • Difficult to read • Not user friendly • Overly complicated practice problems • Homework on the “honor system” • Excessive testing opportunities • Grading based on tests only • An attendance policy that was too lenient • Incomplete grades**Potential Hazards**• Math Lab is not for every teacher • Labor intensive set-up • Teamwork – consistency is the key!