meredith denton-hedrick adjunct associate professor of geology austin community college

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  • Meredith Denton-Hedrick Adjunct Associate Professor of Geology Austin Community College
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  • The Math You Need, When You Need It Math Tutorials for Students in Introductory Geosciences Dr. Eric Baer, Highline Community College Dr. Jennifer M. Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Funding provided by NSF Grant Numbers DUE- 633755 and DUE-633402 (Dec 2006-Dec 2009) Sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers
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  • Typical ACC Geology Student Non-science major Needs to satisfy a degree requirement for a laboratory science class Math-phobic or long out of practice Believes geology is not a quantitative science Expects geology will be easy compared to other sciences Often intimidated and uncomfortable in an environment they expected to be math-free
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  • What is TMYN? Quantitative tutorials for math remediation Web-based, stand-alone modules Uses plain English Presented in a geoscience context You choose the modules that fit your course Gives students math skills just before they will use them in a concurrent geoscience course
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  • Why Use TMYN? Skirts prerequisite issue Less time spent in class/lab reviewing quantitative topics Accommodates wide range of math abilities in the classroom Less instructor hand-holding
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  • Why Use TMYN? Data shows that the tutorials are effective Improved students across the board, not just developmental-level students Students feel their needs are being supported Improves student success and confidence Student retention increases
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  • Available Tutorials Calculating density Graphing Unit conversions Rearranging equations Calculating rates Slopes and topographic maps Calculating distances and angles with trigonometry Understanding hypsometric curves
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  • Module Design 1. Introduce the concept and present an algorithm for solving problems 2. Provide a set of practice problems with worked answers 3. Students demonstrate mastery with an online quiz
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  • Module Design - Introduction Give geologic context Walk students through likely previous experience with the mathematical concept Miles per hour, miles per gallon Give students steps to approach similar problems Provide resources to further explore the concept
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  • Module Design Practice Give students practice with real problems Practice the mechanics of the math Understand how the math applies to your class Students work at their own pace Provide worked answers to the problems Answers are hidden until they are ready to see them Give students confidence in their ability to do the math
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  • Module Design - Quiz Optional Quizzes housed at Washington Mathematics Assessment and Placement Open-source CMS for mathematical problem solving Contact Eric or Jen for access and instructions Quizzes designed by you Choose existing questions from library Edit existing questions Write new questions
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  • Module Design - Quiz Instructors can test: Knowledge (allow students only one try) Mastery (allow students to take quizzes multiple times) Students can work through quiz at their own pace or can be timed Software grades quiz, dumps data into gradebook Eric and Jen would like to see your pre- and post-test data, but not required
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  • Ways to Use TMYN Optional for all students for students who demonstrate poor math skills on a pre- test Required for students who demonstrate poor math skills students see this as punitive for all students as part of lab exercises for all students as pre-lab exercises
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  • Results Improved preparedness for the lab assignments Less direction and assistance required from instructor Scores on quantitative laboratory quizzes have increased by an average of 10 points Assessments show that students retain their math skills for the duration of the class Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive
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  • Challenges Technical glitches (rare) Students cant log in to Software doesnt recognize close enough answer Implementation glitches Making quizzes optional didnt work Students who didnt need it were the ones who did it Students who need this the most sometimes just wont do it
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  • Questions?