Intermediate & College Algebra Course Redesign Final Report. College Algebra - Replacement Model

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1 Intermediate & College Algebra Course Redesign Final Report Department of Sciences and Mathematics Mississippi University for Women Kerzel Principal Investigator and Department Chair Adhikari, Hanes, Oppenheimer, Yang April 24, 2010 College Algebra - Replacement Model Traditional Course (Fall 08) Common textbook Software MyMathLab Diagnostic exam (Pre-test) Common final exam 100% lecture Evaluation Online homework (15%) Four paper tests (60%) Paper final exam (25%) Redesigned Course (Fall 09) Optional common textbook Software Hawkes Learning Systems Diagnostic exam (Pre-test) Common final exam 50% lecture and 50% math lab Evaluation Online homework (20%) Four web tests (50%) Notebook (5%) Paper final exam (25%)

2 Impact on Student Learning Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment Traditional Enrolled Pre-Assessment Post-Assessment Mean Standard deviation Number of students Redesign Mean Standard deviation Number of students Students in the traditional course performed marginally better than the students in the redesigned course on the postassessment, but the difference was not statistically significant. Traditional Course (Fall 08) Grade Number Percentag e A 29 17% B 24 14% C 44 25% D 27 16% F 38 22% W, WP, WF 8 5% OTHER 3 2% TOTAL % College Algebra Grade Distribution Redesigned Course (Fall 09) Grade Number Percentag e A 18 10% B 24 13% C 39 21% D 27 15% F 50 27% W, WP, WF 25 14% OTHER 0 0% TOTAL % The completion rates (D or better) are 72% for Fall 2008 and 59% for Fall 2009.

3 Success Rate: Improved Retention Fall 2008 (Traditional) Fall 2009 (Redesign) 72% 59% It should be noted that Fall 2008 was a more successful semester than typical, as the previous three year s success rates were 59%, 59%, and 64%. So the success rate under course redesign was comparable to the typical success rates that have been experienced with a traditional teaching methodology, but a drop from our baseline data of Fall Improved Retention (Continued) Withdrawal Rate: Fall 2008 (Traditional) Fall 2009 (Redesign) 5% 14% Of those students taking the final exam in the redesigned course, and thus sticking with the course for the entire semester, 75% of those students earned a semester grade of D or higher. The team is disappointed not to have experienced improvement in the percentage of students successfully completing the course and continues to seek ways to improve in that area.

4 Intermediate Algebra Replacement Model Traditional Course (Fall 08) Common textbook Software MyMathLab Common final exam 100% lecture Evaluation Online homework (15%) Four paper tests (60%) Paper final exam (25%) Redesigned Course (Fall 09) Optional common textbook Software Hawkes Learning Systems Common final exam 50% lecture and 50% math lab Evaluation Online homework (20%) Four web tests (50%) Notebook (5%) Paper final exam (25%) Impact on Student Learning Post-Assessment Enrolled Post- Assessment Enrolled Post- Assessment Traditiona Redesign l Mean Standard deviation Number of students Students in the traditional course performed better than the students in the redesigned course on the post-assessment, and the difference was statistically significant at the 5% level.

5 Intermediate Algebra Grade Distribution Traditional Course (Fall 08) Grade Number Percentag e A 9 8% B 19 17% C 23 21% D 14 13% F 39 36% W, WP, WF 4 4% OTHER 1 1% TOTAL % Redesigned Course (Fall 09) Grade Number Percentag e A 5 5% B 9 9% C 23 23% D 19 19% F 41 41% W, WP, WF 3 3% OTHER 0 0% TOTAL % The completion rates (D or better) are 59% for Fall 2008, and 56% for Fall Spring 10: Of those who took the final, 60% passed with a C or better. Fall 08 # % A 9 8% B 19 17% C 23 21% D 14 13% F 39 36% W/ WP/ WF 4 4% Other 1 1% Total % Spring 09 # % A 1 2% B 3 6% C 1 2% D 4 9% F 28 60% W/ WP/ WF 10 21% Other 0 0% Total % Spring 10 # % A 1 1% B 9 13% C 15 21% D 7 10% F 31 44% W/ WP/ WF 8 11% Other 0 0% Total %

6 Success Rate: Improved Retention Fall 2008 (Traditional) Fall 2009 (Redesign) 60% 56% For the previous three years, success rates were 54%, 71%, and 57%. So the success rate under course redesign was comparable to the typical success rates that have been experienced with a traditional teaching methodology. Improved Retention (Continued) Withdrawal Rate: Fall 2008 (Traditional) Fall 2009 (Redesign) 4% 3% This course experienced problems with students who stopped attending, yet did not withdraw from the course since the intermediate courses do not earn credit toward graduation and the grades are not part of the student s GPA. In Fall 2009, of 109 students enrolled at the beginning of the semester, only 70 students took the final exam. Of those students taking the final exam, and thus sticking with the course for the entire semester, 80% of those students earned a semester grade of D or higher.

7 Impact on Cost Savings College Algebra: 12% cost savings Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Cost per student $201 $176 Intermediate Algebra: 25% cost savings Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Cost per student $206 $155 Increasing class sizes is a significant factor contributing to cost savings. Note that MUW does not have graduate students and is not able to shift instructional responsibilities for Intermediate Algebra away from faculty. Lessons Learned Pedagogical Improvement Techniques Match what is shown on the PowerPoints to what the students are required to do in the software Revise the length of homework assignments and align the difficulty level of the homework and test problems to course objectives Require the PowerPoints to be printed out in advance of class Cost Reduction Techniques Increase section size Use undergraduate tutors

8 Implementation Issues What worked best Creating a designated Mathematics Lab for the two redesigned mathematics courses The availability of the mathematics personnel for assistance What worked least well Time requirement in the software Sustainability The team fully intends to continue with the principles of course redesign. There are many positive components of the Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra courses that were developed and/or improved over the last two years under Course Redesign. The faculty now teach the two courses in a more uniform manner, sharing planning efforts and creating instructional materials such as PowerPoint presentations and assessment instruments.

9 Sustainability (Continued) Larger class size has been the most significant factor leading to cost savings. Online homework and exams, along with students getting immediate feedback on their work, mean that larger class sizes remain manageable for the instructors. One area still in need of attention is the large number of students who believe that the software is a barrier to their learning rather than a tool to assist them in their learning. Improving student attitudes will likely help with retaining students through the entire course. Thank you for your attention. Any Questions?

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