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MASTER Math – Motivating Academic Success Through Effective Redesign Getting Started in Course Redesign Workshop NCAT – NOVA October 21, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "MASTER Math – Motivating Academic Success Through Effective Redesign Getting Started in Course Redesign Workshop NCAT – NOVA October 21, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 MASTER Math – Motivating Academic Success Through Effective Redesign Getting Started in Course Redesign Workshop NCAT – NOVA October 21, 2011

2 About NOVA 5 general-purpose campuses, 1 medical education campus, and a distance education campus Annual unduplicated student headcount 75,490 Fall 2010 FTES: 29,730 Fall 2010 FTES in Math courses: 3,410 Fall 2011 FTES in Developmental Math: 1,305 Students from 177 countries in Fall % white, 17% Black, 16% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 6% other NOVA is an Achieving the Dream Leader College

3 Our Problem In 2007, student success rate in MTH 3 (Algebra I) was 38% – Other developmental math courses had similar success rates – Within 3 years of entering MTH 3, only 28% enroll in a college level math course and only 20% pass a college level math course Interventions we tried, with limited success: – Learning Communities, pairing Math with the Student Success course – Supplemental Learning – Embedded tutors Everyone would be better served if success rates were higher and students were able to finish their developmental studies in fewer semesters

4 Were not alone! Nationally, interest in redesigning the developmental math curriculum is widespread – American Mathematics Association for Two Year Colleges - New Life for Developmental Math – Carnegie Foundation – Bill and Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations – National Center for Academic Transformation – Redesign Alliance – Virginia Community College System – Many others

5 The Turning Point: Developmental Education in Virginias Community Colleges Affirmed three goals for the VCCS: – reduce the overall need for developmental education – design developmental education in a way that reduces the time to complete developmental reading, writing, and mathematics requirements for most VCCS students to one academic year – increase the number of developmental education students graduating or transferring in four years from one in four students (25%) to at least one in three students (33%).

6 VCCS The Critical Point The VCCS was moving forward with a plan to modularize the Developmental Math curriculum – Streamlined content, teaching only what is needed in credit courses – Demonstrate mastery in a module to move on – Repeat only the module, not a whole course, when the student fails a module – Provide for different exit points for different groups of students – Provide a more diagnostic placement test – Provide state-wide uniformity in content and standards

7 What Is Wrong With Traditional Lecture Delivery? Cant slow down when material is difficult Once a student falls behind, it is hard to catch up If a student fails, he/she must repeat the whole course Students may have to sit through lectures on some material they thoroughly understand Todays students are different from those of the past

8 Why did we consider an NCAT redesign? NOVA faculty had been attending NCAT conferences for the last 4+ years AtD teams had been discussing NCAT redesign models for the last 3 years Other interventions had less impact than desired We became increasingly convinced that tweaking our current course design was insufficient – REDESIGN, dont just redesign

9 All campuses had been using MyMathLab or MathXL in varying degrees Through attending presentations and conferences, NOVA math faculty got excited about the successes at other schools, such as Cleveland State and Jackson State Community Colleges Why did we consider an NCAT redesign?

10 Team of 16 attended NCAT Changing the Equation conference in Orlando in March 2010 We wrote our Readiness Criteria document as a team, working through many issues of design and implementation We were invited to the follow-up conference in Dallas in June We applied for the Changing the Equation grant for $40,000 We were approved! How did we start?

11 Formed a committee of Developmental Math Managers, one per campus, each with significant reassigned time Assigned a MyMathLab Administrator, with reassigned time Established a chain of command to college administration Wrote objectives for each unit Constructed the MyLabsPlus site, with extensive opportunity for involvement by math faculty throughout the process

12 How did we start? Completed pilot of our redesigned course Spring and Summer 2011 Collected assessment data from common exam questions in traditional and pilot sections Converted classrooms to computer classrooms and large labs on each of the five campuses Went to full implementation in Fall 2011, with approximately 4900 students currently enrolled

13 NCATs Principles of Successful Redesign Redesign the whole course Encourage active learning Provide students with individualized assistance Build in ongoing assessment and prompt automated feedback to students Ensure sufficient time on task and monitor student progress Modularize the student learning experience

14 Features of our design model Mastery learning Fixed-flexible modified emporium model High tech + high touch Points for everything Organizational aids for students Regularly track student progress Common syllabus and procedures for all sections Communication within the team and across other groups

15 NCATs Critical Implementation Issues Achieve initial and ongoing faculty consensus about the redesign Ensure an adequate technological infrastructure to support the redesign plans Prepare students and the campus for the changes Train instructors, instructional assistants and peer tutors Avoid backsliding by building ongoing institutional commitment to the redesign

16 Faculty consensus Provide opportunities for input into course design – textbook, objectives, homework and test questions, syllabus, policies and procedures Dont wait for 100% agreement – debate and discuss, but eventually move forward

17 Infrastructure Space issues are a challenge everywhere Allow sufficient time for renovations of spaces Consider HVAC, wiring, computer purchases,… Assign project managers committed to making things work out Work with SIS folks for a mechanism to track student progress through the units

18 Communication plan Team of DMMs is crucial Empower the group to make decisions and establish policies We have weekly phone conferences Discuss project with all math faculty, deans, counselors and advisors Do a publicity campaign to inform the students

19 Training plan Begin hiring lab assistants and tutors during pilot phase Prepare training documents for faculty We held a full day of college-wide training prior to fall semester, plus a policies meeting at each campus Continually monitor and prod the faculty regarding best practices

20 Institutional Commitment We have the full support of our administration Tie the project to your student success initiatives such as Achieving the Dream We cannot go back to the old way, because the VCCS eliminated our old course structure For an institution our size, a modular curriculum could not be handled any other way

21 Other challenges SIS interface with MLP Technology glitches – what do students do when MyLabsPlus is unavailable during lab or class time? NOVA vs. VCCS issues (permission for shell courses, consistent tracking mechanisms,…) Find meaningful way to compare course completion data Create templates to simplify administrative work for faculty

22 Assessment results so far On common exam questions given to traditional sections and to redesign students, redesign students on average had 24.5% more correct answers Percent of S grades has not improved, but grading standards are different Student attitudes towards math have improved

23 Budget Implications Cost savings – Teachers receive 3 teaching credits for teaching a 4 credit class Additional expenses – Increased classified staff support – Ongoing reassigned time for DMMs – Increased use of student and professional tutors – Start-up costs (space renovations, furniture and computers) Without counting start-up expenses, we calculate 6.5% cost savings in course delivery

24 Nuts and Bolts of NOVAs Design Content of three courses (Arithmetic, Algebra I and Algebra II) streamlined into a total of 10 units, each with 3 modules Student registers for 4 credit course, and is expected to complete at least 4 units in the semester (one module per week) Student attends class in a computer classroom 2 hours per week at a scheduled time, plus at least 2 hours per week in emporium

25 Nuts and Bolts of NOVAs Design MyLabsPlus site provides e-textbook, video mini-lectures, PowerPoints, outline of notes for student to complete, homework with step-by-step hints available, quizzes and pre and post tests Master course is developed and given to instructors, who all teach with the same syllabus and uniform policies Mastery learning Points for everything (attendance, homework, notes, quizzes and exams)

26 What we might have done differently Provide more reassigned time for development of course materials Make a stronger academic honesty policy from the beginning Create an inactive student policy Introduce time management skills early

27 Questions? Joyce Samuels Dean, Natural and Applied Sciences Loudoun Campus

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