MCL Mathematics Computer Lab Patty Bonesteel Department of Mathematics firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginning Algebra Enrollment Increasing • MAT 0993, remedial math, is equivalent to 9th grade algebra. • Enrollment up 85% from 4 years ago. • 2004-2005 beginning algebra enrollment was 1,993 students. • High schools’ math curriculum not doing its job.
Placement/Proficiency Exam • 4,525 students took the exam for the 2004-2005 school year. • 2,181(48%) placed into beginning algebra. • 1,700 (38%) placed into intermediate algebra. • 512 (11%) placed into precalculus. • 132 (3%) placed into calculus.
Previous Format • Developmental Math Coordinator hired in 1996. • Students met with instructor for 2 hours and in computer lab for 2 hours. • Changed to lecture/workshop format. • Improved success rate.
Previous Lecture/Workshop Format • Worked for several years to improve it. • All GTAs were trained. • Students were active learners in workshop.
Problems with Previous Format • Still had a high failure/withdrawal rate. • Growing enrollment caused: • Shortage of classrooms. • Shortage of qualified adjuncts. • Talking, rudeness, tardiness.
New Provost Means Changes • Math department skeptical. • Pilot for winter 2004 – 73 students. • Followed University of Alabama Emporium Model.
New Math Lab is a Go • Provost provided anything we needed. • Finished just in time for fall 2004 semester. • 1,000 students – very hectic.
Beginning Algebra Data • Eight semesters of lecture/workshop. • Group final. • Uniformly graded. • Four semesters in the Math Computer Lab.
Intermediate Algebra Data • Four semesters of lecture. • Group final. • Uniformly graded. • Two semesters in the Math Computer Lab.
Marginal Students • In intermediate algebra, approximately 15% of the students were in the 60-70% range – just missed passing. • In the future, we will target these students for early intervention.
Withdrawal Rate • Little change for beginning algebra – many students not ready for college. • Psychologically. • Financially. • Major improvement for intermediate algebra. • Most students have already succeeded in previous course. • An “I can do!” attitude is present.
Results After 2 Years of Full Implementation • Students come when they are ready to work. No discipline problems. • Students do somewhat better in the following course. • Cost savings of about $35 per student.
Results • MCL gave us the resources to raise the basic math requirement for general education. • MAT 1000, Math in Today’s World, has been added to the curriculum.
Benefits of the New Lab • Multiple resources allow for variation in learning styles. • Students more engaged in the math. • Get help anytime by “putting up the cup.” • Partially self-paced. Students can go as fast as they wish.
Benefits of the New Lab • Cheaper for students—$35 lab fee instead of $106.67 textbook. • Standardization of all sections, even off campus. • Improves students’ computer skills.
Benefits of the New Lab • More convenient for students. • Lab open 79 hours each week. • After initial orientation, students come whenever they want, but are required to spend at least 5 hours per week in the lab. • Can study from home computer. • All WSU library computers, including 24- hour areas, have appropriate software.
Continually Trying to Improve • Changed from S/U to ABC/U to motivate students. • Added a notebook requirement. • Now require a 60% minimum final exam score to pass (50% for intermediate).
Hired a New Lecturer • Manages our extension site. • Offers extra practice sessions with a “real teacher.” • Attendance at one or more sessions: 68/1200. • Will continue to offer this.
Student Response to the New Lab • Overall – very positive. • All like the flexibility it offers. • Those who are able to finish the course early love it. • The weakest students complain they want a teacher, but don’t come to the extra sessions we offer. • Older students with poor computer skills complain.
Reactions to the New Lab • Graduate students like the flexibility of their assignment. • Undergraduate students enjoy helping students and at the same time, improving their own math skills. • Full time faculty just pleased they don’t have to deal with it.
Things I Wish I’d Known… YOUR PROGRAM MUST BE ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE. IT’S THE LAW. • Required two special computers, $10,000 each. • Required training.
Things I Wish I’d Known… STUDENTS HAVE SHORT ATTENTION SPANS. • Keep talking to a minimum at orientation. • Give a Syllabus Quiz. • Give a CourseCompass Quiz. • Require an e-mail to the instructor.
Things I Wish I’d Known… TECHNOLOGY SOMETIMES FAILS. • Expect computers to go down occasionally. • Put it in your syllabus that they will go down. • Have a plan. • No deadline extensions unless down for over 30 minutes. • Have paper tests available.
Things I Wish I’d Known… STUDENTS ONLY COME TO THE LAB WHEN THEY HAVE SOMETHING DUE. • Spread out the due dates, not just a little, a lot. • Provide a row of chairs so students can sit while waiting.
Things I Wish I’d Known… SOME STUDENTS CHEAT. • Have testing procedure in place way ahead of time. • Have a separate area or a roped off area for testing. • Check picture ID and have students sign in. • Be alert for cell phones. • Provide and collect scrap paper. • Be careful with the testing password.
Things I Wish I’d Known… STUDENTS OBSESS OVER POINTS. • If you’re going to count attendance, have a reliable computer program in place first. • Require an average attendance per week not an exact number of hours. • Learn to say, “If you get all of your work done and learn the mathematics, the attendance points will take care of themselves.”
Things I Wish I’d Known… MORE ABOUT STUDENT REGISTRATION. • Students could register without ever seeing anything about the required orientation. • Student printout did not show when the required orientation was to be held. • Make sure advisors are well-informed. • Post flyers around campus. • Send e-mail reminders to students.
Future Plans • Planned expansion—another 50 computers for fall 2006. • Allows for further growth in enrollment. • MAT 1500, Finite Math, in fall 2006. • Partial use of MCL for Math in Today’s World, Intermediate Algebra with Trig and Precalculus.
THANK YOU! ANY QUESTIONS???