What do you do when a change in enrollment policies leaves you with more than 600 students in a first-term university calculus class, three-quarters of those students had a failing mark in mathematics in the pre-enrollment test, you planned a series of remedial activities for the second term, and the COVID-19 pandemic shuts the university down with a two-day notice? The pandemic hit instruction with might, forcing schools and universities that were timidly experimenting with digital tools to reinvent themselves in days. The pandemic also offered incentives for creative solutions that, in normal times, would have been considered fit for submission to the committee for recursive committee submissions at best. This paper narrates a teaching experience of how we proposed and managed an at-distance remedial course in August that not only catered to more than twice the number of students expected by our best forecasts, but was a very good success once its effectiveness was compared to the outcomes predicted by the pre-enrollment test scores. We expose the design of the course and link its measured effectiveness with both its design and student engagement; in particular, we show that a different approach to the examination of cognitive load and to fostering student–teacher and student–student communication thanks to digital mediation could be effective in countermanding the math-induced drop-out phenomenon in STEM.

Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus / O.G. Rizzo. - In: EDUCATION SCIENCES. - ISSN 2227-7102. - 11:7(2021), pp. 327.1-327.17. [10.3390/educsci11070327]

Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus

O.G. Rizzo
2021

Abstract

What do you do when a change in enrollment policies leaves you with more than 600 students in a first-term university calculus class, three-quarters of those students had a failing mark in mathematics in the pre-enrollment test, you planned a series of remedial activities for the second term, and the COVID-19 pandemic shuts the university down with a two-day notice? The pandemic hit instruction with might, forcing schools and universities that were timidly experimenting with digital tools to reinvent themselves in days. The pandemic also offered incentives for creative solutions that, in normal times, would have been considered fit for submission to the committee for recursive committee submissions at best. This paper narrates a teaching experience of how we proposed and managed an at-distance remedial course in August that not only catered to more than twice the number of students expected by our best forecasts, but was a very good success once its effectiveness was compared to the outcomes predicted by the pre-enrollment test scores. We expose the design of the course and link its measured effectiveness with both its design and student engagement; in particular, we show that a different approach to the examination of cognitive load and to fostering student–teacher and student–student communication thanks to digital mediation could be effective in countermanding the math-induced drop-out phenomenon in STEM.
distance learning; mathematics education; college calculus; teaching experience
Settore MAT/04 - Matematiche Complementari
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
education-11-00327.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo
Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 526.67 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
526.67 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/854094
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact