Title

College Algebra Boot Camp: Initial Implementation

Academic Title

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

College

College of Science and Mathematics

Department

Mathematics

Primary Campus

Oconee

Title of Award Granted

Presidential Summer Incentive

Name of Institution that Granted the Award

University of North Georgia

Keywords

College Algebra, Learning Support, Corequisite, Flipped Classroom, Math Boot Camp

Abstract

In Fall 2018, the USG mandated that all remediation would be done in a co-requisite format requiring students to take the Learning Support class (099X-level classes) simultaneously with their Gateway class (1XXX-level classes). In response to this change, the USG set new criteria for placement using measures such as the Math Placement Index (MPI) to determine in which math pathway a student will begin. The Oconee campus offers two co-requisite pairings; MATH 0997/1001-Quantitative Skills and Reasoning, recommended for students in non-STEM pathways, and MATH 0999/1111-College Algebra, required for students in STEM pathways. STEM co-requisites MATH 0999/1111 require a higher Mathematics Placement Index (MPI) than non-STEM MATH 0997/1001. Many STEM students do not have a high enough MPI to place into MATH 0999/1111, resulting in STEM students having to take non-STEM co-requisites before beginning their STEM math classes. This delay is made worse by the fact that MATH 0997/1001 curriculum does little to prepare students for MATH 0999/1111.

According to studies cited by the Dana Center, the addition of non-STEM math classes for STEM students is in direct opposition to research that suggests that co-requisite education works best or is most beneficial when students follow the appropriate pathway for their major.1 We created a College Algebra Boot Camp on the Oconee Campus to help students re-test into MATH 0999/1111 by bridging gaps in their knowledge of algebra. We used funds from the Presidential Summer Incentive Award to produce mathematics instructional videos for use in the boot camp. The first College Algebra Boot Camp ran during the Fall 2020 semester and utilized a flipped classroom environment to help students remediate deficiencies and accelerate the learning required to experience success in College Algebra. In the end, six of the fifteen students successfully completed the Boot Camp and are currently enrolled in College Algebra.

1 https://dcmathpathways.org/sites/default/files/resources/2019-03/CaseforMathPathways_20190313.pdf, last accessed 10/3/2019.

Biography

This project is aligned with our research interests. Dr. Davidson-Rossier has attended and presented at conferences discussing the importance of non-cognitive skills and Learning Support curriculum. Dr. Kitchings’ scholarly activity currently includes Math 1111 redesign, teaching with technology, and using technology to engender problem posing in mathematics classes. Dr. Davidson-Rossier has been involved in the transition to co-requisite remediation from the beginning, and has attended seven USG Learning Support academies. She has experience teaching the Math 0997/1001 non-STEM courses and has seen the results of students being placed in the wrong math pathway. In addition, she has attended a Mathematical Association of America conference session on running a flipped classroom. Dr. Kitchings has been involved in the transition to co-requisite remediation from the beginning and has also attended USG Learning Support academies. He has experience teaching the Math 0999/1111 STEM courses. He has extensive experience creating videos and presented on creating mathematics instructional videos at the International Conference for Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) in Orlando in March, 2020.

Proposal Type

Presentation

Additional Presenter Information

Dr. Leslie Davidson-Rossier, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Science and Mathematics, Mathematics Department, UNG Oconee Campus

Dr. Clayton N. Kitchings, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of Science and Mathematics, Mathematics Department, UNG Oconee Campus

Subject Area

Mathematics

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College Algebra Boot Camp: Initial Implementation

In Fall 2018, the USG mandated that all remediation would be done in a co-requisite format requiring students to take the Learning Support class (099X-level classes) simultaneously with their Gateway class (1XXX-level classes). In response to this change, the USG set new criteria for placement using measures such as the Math Placement Index (MPI) to determine in which math pathway a student will begin. The Oconee campus offers two co-requisite pairings; MATH 0997/1001-Quantitative Skills and Reasoning, recommended for students in non-STEM pathways, and MATH 0999/1111-College Algebra, required for students in STEM pathways. STEM co-requisites MATH 0999/1111 require a higher Mathematics Placement Index (MPI) than non-STEM MATH 0997/1001. Many STEM students do not have a high enough MPI to place into MATH 0999/1111, resulting in STEM students having to take non-STEM co-requisites before beginning their STEM math classes. This delay is made worse by the fact that MATH 0997/1001 curriculum does little to prepare students for MATH 0999/1111.

According to studies cited by the Dana Center, the addition of non-STEM math classes for STEM students is in direct opposition to research that suggests that co-requisite education works best or is most beneficial when students follow the appropriate pathway for their major.1 We created a College Algebra Boot Camp on the Oconee Campus to help students re-test into MATH 0999/1111 by bridging gaps in their knowledge of algebra. We used funds from the Presidential Summer Incentive Award to produce mathematics instructional videos for use in the boot camp. The first College Algebra Boot Camp ran during the Fall 2020 semester and utilized a flipped classroom environment to help students remediate deficiencies and accelerate the learning required to experience success in College Algebra. In the end, six of the fifteen students successfully completed the Boot Camp and are currently enrolled in College Algebra.

1 https://dcmathpathways.org/sites/default/files/resources/2019-03/CaseforMathPathways_20190313.pdf, last accessed 10/3/2019.