Today’s rabbit hole :)

Posted on February 19, 2017


Okay, I’ll go out for a real bike ride today ’cause it’s in the sixties… but for this window I’m going to just go out and survey what colleges are doing in developmental mathematics.  AS in:   What are people looking for?

I’m recalling the research at the school where the teachers needed to be convinced that there was a systemic problem; they got a new batch of students each semester.  “In math, for example, more than half of all Black and Latino community college students are placed three or more levels below college (Perry, Bahr, Rosin and Woodward, 2010.” … and then the stats of how many people in that placement ended up passing a college level math course within four years…

So, University of Maryland’s developmental math says “There has been extensive experimentation with the computer program we use, and it has been successful in preparing students who conscientiously stick with it.”   Doesn’t say the name of the program and you have to place into it; it’s to replace high school algebra I and II.   There’s nothing there for people below that.

Staten Island on the other hand has a basic mathematics that’s arithmetic. Central Oregon Community College offers “MTH 010 – DEVELOPMENTAL MATHEMATICS Introduces mathematics and its application; explains language and symbols used in math; develops concepts in whole number, fraction and decimal operations and applications; and develops analytical thinking while emphasizing study and learning skills necessary for success in math courses and overcoming anxiety toward math.”

I found a list of “classes that use OER in Oregon.”

Adrienne Mitchell at Lane Community College uses, basically,  Khan Academy videos and MyOpenMath.  The teacher gets 2 great reviews on Rate My Professor saying she does a great job doing things online and really cares; here’s her file directory… there’s a lot about tackling math even if you’ve not had good experiences before; ways to reduce anxiety, advice to form study groups, etc.   It includes writing formulas as soon as you get a test… and to write neatly and show all work, which hints at the “visual-kinesthetic memory” part of math that we underestimate and that my lessons would include 🙂  Newest file is from 2013….hmmm… how dated is the list?

Okay, I found the “oer in Oregon” list and these are courses which are taught as a course, not a group “use the computer program” effort (big question:  which one ends up being more personalized?)

And time to leave the rabbits and the voles… (which reminds me, I need to deal with a major mouse issue in the house…)   Time for a ride!

… oh, not quite! … I found this about a teacher who was asked to teach an online arithmetic class and … it maxed out.   AS in, okay, evidence that there is huge student demand for it.(It was free… and yea, hardly anybody actually finished it.)   Okay, really time to ride now — but assumption based on this wee sample size is that yes, there are teachers out there like ours who *do* understand the students who need a whole lot more than a quick, boot-camp style review.   As in, they might even appreciate things more conceptual and good-science-of-teaching based  than Khan Academy, though I  wouldn’t say for sure …  Next “thing” — find those resources 🙂

… and… create a system for building in the extra confidence building review and connection building that these folks need (that part that ALEKS  has started to include!) which I bet that David LIppman guy could do on one of those three day hackathons…

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