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Many community college students are focusing on programs that help them learn or reinforce the skills needed to land their desired job or advance within their current work environment. Others are in STEM programs that are preparing them for immediate entry into the field of their dreams. Providing meaningful applications of mathematics for career programs in various courses is engaging and motivating to students. Their proficiency in these applications is essential to their success in the workforce. Join us as we explore various aspects of applications of mathematics for career programs.
More than likely, you have heard about flipped teaching. Many faculty, upon hearing about the flipped teaching model, recognize that it makes a lot of sense and recognize that it would be an effective way to engage students in the classroom with the result being increased student success. Perhaps you have considered using the flipped teaching model but have not gotten started yet, with the fear that it is an overwhelming task and you are just too busy right now. If you know that flipped teaching would benefit your students and if you are interested in discovering some ways to flip your class without flipping out, then this is a great time to get started. ...
Back when the Statistics Anet hosted IMPACT Live! in May , Mark Earley posted the following discussion question: “What is the biggest change you've made to your introductory statistics class in the last 3 years? Why did you make the change and what impact has it had on your students?“ While there are some big changes I’ve made in my classroom over the years (like flipping my class or trying standards-based grading), some of the most impact ful changes in terms of student success have been small changes. This ties into the theme that the Innovative Teaching and Learning Anet and Project ACCCESS had for this month’s Impact Live! : A small idea ...
Author: Rachel Saidi In looking broadly at student success, one can define it based on outcomes, principles, and practices. Joe Cuseo of Marymount College wrote a column, “The Big Picture,” in Esource for College Transitions, which was published by the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience & Students in Transition (2007). Cuseo defined student success in terms of the following: Student Retention (Persistence): Entering college students remain, re-enroll, and continue their undergraduate education. Educational Attainment: entering students persist to completion and attainment of their degree, program, or educational goal. Academic ...
I remember our outpouring of commitment to building racial equity in the fall of 2020 as the effects of structural and ideological racism were brought into relief through the twin crises of the pandemic and police killings of unarmed African Americans. To be sure, the effects of structural racism were already well known by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color). Likewise, BIPOC students and colleagues have lived experiences with structural and ideological racism in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), while the various forms of racism remain hidden to racial groups that dominate STEM who hide behind the veneer of STEM disciplines ...
I was at an equity summit in late February and the speaker, the incredible Dr. Luke Wood, was talking about why community colleges are struggling to support Black men (amongst other population subgroups). His definition of equity is worth sharing: “Equity refers to a heightened focus on groups that experience disproportionate impact in order to remediate disparities in their experiences and outcomes.” Equity is a word that I have been hearing on the radio in connection with the new CRT (critical race theory) bugbear that has emerged as a political rallying point. For people committed to educational equity, Wood’s definition is useful ...
Much attention is given to helping students develop ownership of their learning. It is equally important to keep faculty ownership in focus. That is why this month’s planning team from the Statistics ANet chose to develop our month around suggestions and conversations among statistics faculty who regularly engage in these activities as well as faculty looking for new ideas. We invite you to look around and join the weekly discussions aimed at increasing an instructor’s sense of ownership. IMPACT (2018) suggests three areas where faculty can take ownership in their introductory statistics courses: Creating a learning environment, Taking an ...
Focus on Collaboration: History of the National Mathematics Summit Back in 2012, developmental mathematic redesign movement was sweeping the country. Faculty across the country were wondering what the impact would be in their classrooms. At the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference held in Orlando that year, Paul Nolting and Hunter Boylan, then director of the National Center on Developmental Education (NCDE), discussed a possible joint summit with AMATYC. They knew that there were many parts of the puzzle and that there was a need to bring experts from different organizations together to share ideas. At the NADE conference ...
As we imagine the learning of mathematics as an active and engaging experience for students, we need to leverage what we know from research which encourages the use of student thinking to guide instruction. Instructional strategies, such as the use of “vertical non-permanent surfaces” (VNPS) as promoted in Building Thinking Classrooms by Peter Liljedahl, provide an essential window into student thinking. So, what does it mean to use student thinking when teaching? And in what ways can student thinking guide instruction? Let’s explore a traditional task first and then discuss thoughts on these questions. Consider the following task: ...
You open the door to the classroom and your initial reaction is shock. It seems that chaos reigns as you notice students out of their seats as they talk with one another. Furthermore, the desks are not neatly arranged in rows, but seem to be randomly clustered into small groups as the students use the desk tops to set up laptop computers connected to microphones used for collecting data. Students are recording their work on the white boards that surround the room. Where is the teacher? You are not sure. Concerned with the outward appearance of this classroom, you enter the classroom to investigate. You stop at the first group of students and try to figure ...
What are some of your common frustrations about student performance in your classes? Maybe students aren’t putting in the time necessary to struggle with problems and understand concepts. Or they provide surface-level responses to your questions that were designed to make them think more deeply and make connections. Perhaps you just want students to be more precise with their notation or vocabulary when writing or speaking about mathematics. The root of many of these issues is a lack of engagement. If students are going through the motions that they’ve learned through years of school will get them a passing grade, they are not engaged and we will see that ...
The traditional mathematics class is a “teacher-telling” environment where the students listen and watch the instructor perform mathematics. The student’s role is to take notes in class, review them outside class, and complete homework assignments. People taught in this manner can succeed in their courses by simply memorizing and “mimicking” the behavior of the instructor, yet these strategies will rarely succeed at the collegiate level in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. A great challenge with first-year college students is helping them realize that mathematics is not about formulas and procedures, but rather it should be focused ...
AMATYC defines “mathematics intensive” courses as those taught in the first two years of collegiate study that lead to advanced work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our mathematics intensive network focuses on courses such as college algebra, precalculus, calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. These require development of abilities in problem solving, modeling, reasoning, connecting to other disciplines, communicating, and using technology, which are the goals student learning outcomes as defined in AMATYC’s (1995) Crossroads in Mathematics. Similarly, the National Research Council (2001) defines proficiency as reflecting ...
Authors: Michael Caparula and Eric Hutchinson The IMPACT document presents a number of items that The Mathematics Intensive Committee has interest in. However, for this month, we will be focusing on statements in the Proficiency chapter. Our committee looks at the objectives and pedagogies of the upper-level courses such as College Algebra, Calculus I, II, III, Calculus for Business, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. Proficiency is vital for all students in math courses, however, these students will be integrating mathematics (with and without technology) in their profession whether it’s in engineering, actuary science, chemistry, ...
How Do YOU Define the Idea of Rigor in Mathematics Education? Suppose you heard a colleague say, “Today’s math lesson is very rigorous!” What does it mean to label a lesson as “rigorous?” What would YOUR thoughts be if you heard someone claim that a lesson was rigorous? Take a moment to think about YOUR meaning for the idea of “rigor” in mathematics. The University of Texas Charles A. Dana Center reports four commonly held viewpoints on rigor in the mathematics classroom: View 1: Use of logical deductions from stated hypotheses to prove theorems View 2: Adhering to traditionally prescribed content including a long list of ...
After the unveiling of AMATYC’s IMPACT document, a group of AMATYC members recognized the need to help two-year colleges meet the vision in the IMPACT document and the two previous standards documents. Considering the magnitude of this endeavor, it was decided that the best course of action was to apply for a large National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The outcome was the $2.9 million NSF grant, Teaching for PROWESS, that just started its second year of work. In Phase 1 of the project we are working with two community colleges, Clackamas Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, to support them in increasing their use of active ...
When you read the following three statements, “(1) Experience. (2) Student experience . (3) Student experience in mathematics. “, what do you notice and what do you wonder? One might wonder how a framework of PROWESS relates to the student experience in mathematics. For example, “when students take initiative of their own learning” (AMATYC, 2018, p. 32) what experiences in mathematics allowed for that opportunity to happen? Maybe the student experience was a positive one that showed how their thinking belongs in mathematics. Yet, negative experiences in mathematics can easily become powerful moments that carry on as a long-lasting, hurtful ...
Differential equations is an important component of mathematics curricula for STEM majors. Students at my institution often find Differential Equations class as a "capstone" course of the first two years of college mathematics that they complete as part of their STEM degrees such as engineering. I believe that it is important to learn to think creatively and logically and see the connection of real-world context in mathematics curriculum. This is particularly important for opening doors to STEM majors, and retaining STEM students. I try to connect the class material to real world scenarios that encompass the course curriculum's conceptual understanding. Engaging ...
I wanted to understand what I could do as an educator in my own classroom to meet students where they are and use different pedagogical methods to guide them towards not only an understanding but an appreciation of the concepts behind statistics. My introductory statistics students complete a project that uses data they collect. Following the project, students are asked to give feedback on their experience with the project. A comment from a student on their reflection and feedback caused me to pause. The student shared that before they had taken my course they believed all statistics used in research and science were skewed or, even worse, completely made up ...
“I have taken [learning] into my own hands to actually go back and see where I struggled…” Developmental mathematics is an important area of teaching and learning. I am an Adult Educator, and I teach pre-college mathematics courses in the Transitional Studies department at Clark College. My students enroll in contextualized mathematics courses as they get ready for college and gain job skills that prepare them for academic programs and high wage jobs. Students often enter Transitional Studies courses with previous academic experiences that were not successful, and sometimes traumatic. The student experience in my classes must support their mathematical ...