Student success in undergraduate mathematics has significant implications for whether students choose to continue into STEM majors and future related careers. Even for those students who do not choose to major in mathematics, science or engineering, success in entry-level undergraduate mathematics courses such as calculus can make or break students’ decisions to persist in postsecondary education.
Our working theory of change is represented in the following diagram.
The overarching goal is to improve student success with undergraduate mathematics, starting with the Pre-calculus through Calculus 2 sequence (P2C2). This is accomplished through effective teaching practices, which are supported by learning environments that are more conducive to student interaction, reasoning, and problem solving and the use of instructional resources to support ALM. Faculty buy-in and institutional leadership is developed to support Graduate Teaching Assistant training. Also, for many campuses, undergraduate learning assistants are used to support student work with group activities and enhance student engagement in mathematical activity.
Cal Poly Pomona: Laurie Riggs
California State Fullerton: Alison Marzocchi, David Pagni, Roberto Soto
Colorado Boulder: David Grant, Nancy Kress, Faan Tone Liu, Rob Tubbs, David Webb*
Colorado State: Janet Oien
California State, Chico: Christine Herrera
Florida International: Rocio Benabentos, Maria Campitelli, Adam Castillo, Maria Fernandez, Jerry Hower, Laird Kramer, Goeff Potvin, Charity Watson
Fresno State: Lance Burger
Hawaii-Manoa: Monique Chyba, Mirjana Jovovic, Sarah Post
Kennesaw State: Kadian Callahan, Belinda Edwards
Middle Tennessee State: James Hart
Nebraska-Lincoln: Allan Donsig, Rachel Funk, Wendy Smith*, Nathan Wakefield
Nebraska at Omaha: Janice Rech, Michael Matthews
Northern Arizona: Angie Hodge
San Diego State: Janet Bowers, Michael O'Sullivan, Chris Rasmussen, Daniel Reinholz, Matt Voigt
South Carolina: Sean Yee
Tuskegee: Lauretta Garrett, Ana Tameru
Utah State: KimberLeigh Hadfield
West Virginia: Nicole Infante, Vicki Sealey
Western Michigan: Melinda Koelling, Tabitha Mingus
You can contact the RAC leaders to discuss how you might get involved. We recommend you start small—check out the resources below and start talking to others at your site. Our RAC members are active at the Joint Math Meetings (JMM) and Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (RUME), so you can usually catch us presenting there. You may want to attend a hands-on workshop focused on active learning, such as those put on by the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning . Some RAC materials for use with precalculus to calculus 2 classes (P2C2) are available online . The ALM RAC efforts overlap with the NSF-Funded SEMINAL grant (Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning ), which is studying institutional change and how departments can change their cultures so that actively engaging students is the new normal.
Elrod, S., & Kezar, A. (2016). Increasing student success in STEM: A guide to systemic institutional change. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Kezar, A. (2013). How colleges change: Understanding, leading, and enacting change. New York: Routledge. http://www.adriannakezar.com/publications/books
Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L., Grunow, Al., & LeMahieu, P. (2015). Learning to improve: How America’s schools can get better at getting better. Boston: Harvard Education Publishing. https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/resources/publications/learning-to-improve/
Hayward, C. N., Kogan, M., & Laursen, S. L. (2016). Facilitating instructor adoption of inquiry-based learning in college mathematics. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 2, 59-82.
Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410
Laursen, S. L., Hassi, M.-L., Kogan, M., & Weston, T. J. (2014). Benefits for women and men of inquiry-based learning in college mathematics: A multi-institution study. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 45(4), 405-418.
Bressoud, D., Carlson, M. P., Mesa, V., & Rasmussen, C. (2013). The calculus student: Insights from the Mathematical Association of America national study. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science & Technology, 44(5), 685-698. https://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/cspcc/InsightsandRecommendations.pdf
|MAA Instructional Practices Guide (2017). Retrieved from https://www.maa.org/programs-and-communities/curriculum%20resources/instructional-practices-guide|
ALM RAC-Related Publications
Apkarian, N., Bowers, J., O’Sullivan, M., & Rasmussen, C. (2018). A case study of change in the teaching and learning of Precalculus to Calculus 2: What we’re doing with what we have. PRIMUS, 28(6), 528-549. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10511970.2017.1388319
Lai, Y., Smith, W. M., Wakefield, N. P. Miller, E. R., St. Goar, J., Groothuis, C. M., & Wells, K. M. (2016). Characterizing mathematics graduate student teaching assistants’ opportunities to learn from teaching. In J. Dewar, P. Hsu, & H. Pollatsek (Eds.) Mathematics education: A spectrum of work in mathematical sciences departments (Chapter 6, pp. 73-88), Association for Women in Mathematics Series. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319449494
Wakefield, N., & Smith, W. M. (2016). Enriching Student’s Online Homework Experience in Pre-Calculus Courses: Hints and Cognitive Supports. In T. Fukawa-Connolly (Ed.), Proceedings of the 19th Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Conference, Pittsburg, PA. http://sigmaa.maa.org/rume/Site/Proceedings.html