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1 of 14 Virginia Tech Math Emporium Visit – March 2007

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2 of 14 Located in a strip mall about 10 walking minutes from campus.

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3 of 14 Serves as “anchor store” of the mall.

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4 of 14 Entrance

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5 of 14 Reception/security area - The Emporium is open 24 hours 7 days a week.

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6 of 14 540 IMacs available, not only for math students.

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7 of 14 A “moveable” section of the Emporium is used for proctoring exams.

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8 of 14 A “pod” consists of six workspaces, each with adjoining desk areas. Students ask for assistance by placing the red cup on top of their computer.

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9 of 14 The acoustics allow for conversations without disturbing neighboring students.

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10 of 14 Started in 1996 Championed by Mike Williams, Math Professor and (at the time) Director of VT’s IT department Initial motivation: Financial crisis at VT First course: Matrix Algebra freshman course for Engineering students Supported by the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT)

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11 of 14 Completely on-computer/online – no classes except for a short orientation session in the first week of classes Considerable cost savings Student success and retention somewhat similar to traditional classes; format does not seem very popular with students Problem: topics of high conceptual demand (e.g., eigenvalues/eigenvectors)

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12 of 14 Support personnel (UG and GR students, instructors, professors) available Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to midnight. Teaching credit formula: 1 TLC = 2 hours on the “floor”. One helper for every 24-30 students Software and coursework developed in- house. Needs careful planning – IT, crisis management protocols, lab has raised floor…

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13 of 14 Students can work at home on their computer or in the Math Emporium. Students can take unlimited un-proctored practice quizzes. Frequent deadlines for completion of proctored quizzes and exams to prevent student procrastination. Quizzes and Exams are random- generated and multiple choice.

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14 of 14 As of today the following courses are “taught” in this format: –Matrix Algebra –College Algebra –Precalculus –Calculus for Business and Life Sciences –Next: Mathematics for Architecture Considered “worthwhile” when enrollment exceeds 500 students per year. Not used for the Engineering Calculus sequence

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