• Flipping a Mathematics Classroom: A Budget Lightboard Approach

      Besing, Kyle E.
      There is currently a push for an increase in active learning in post-secondary math and science classes. The benefits of this style are discussed in the Freeman report [4] and advocated for in the recent Joint Statement on Active Learning from the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences [5] One commonly used style of active learning is the flipped classroom, where traditional lecture content is provided to students prior to class to facilitate more active or engaging activities during class meetings [2, 3]. The question of how to create this material served as the focus of this project. The ideal process would produce video content that is both effective for the teaching of mathematics (and ideally other disciplines), but adapted for online use, while not generating significant overhead in terms of time and effort for faculty. These requirements led to the decision to construct a lightboard [1], but within a significantly smaller budget. Currently published lightboard plans cost upwards of $8000 to build. This talk will describe the specifics of this particular build which allowed for a final cost of less than $4000 as well as additional cost saving opportunities for future builds. A majority of the cost savings are due to the adoption of available open-source software. A flipped classroom approach utilizing the lightboard was piloted during the Fall 2019 semester in two sections of a General Education Probability and Statistics class. This class typically includes freshman through senior science majors and non-majors. Students watched a 7-12 minute video prior to class and completed a pre-class quiz. I will discuss the implementation of this approach as well as initial observations and feedback from the pilot semester. In particular, I will highlight the impact the flipped classroom had on students who identify as bad at math or who fear being asked to do math. References [1] J Alex Birdwell and Michael Peshkin. Capturing technical lectures on lightboard. 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 26:1, 2015. [2] George R Buch and Carryn B Warren. The flipped classroom: Implementing technology to aid in college mathematics students success. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 10(2):109-116, 2017. [3] Kevin R Clark. The effects of the flipped model of instruction on student engagement and performance in the secondary mathematics classroom. Journal of Educators Online, 12(1):91-115, 2015. [4] Scott Freeman, Sarah L Eddy, Miles McDonough, Michelle K Smith, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23):8410-8415, 2014. [5] Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. Active learning in post-secondary mathematics education. Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences Washington, DC, 2016.
    • Inquiry-Based Abstract Algebra: An Approach for Students of Varying Preparation

      Besing, Kyle E.
      There is currently a push for an increase in active-learning in post-secondary math and science classes. The benefits of this style are discussed in the Freeman report1 and advocated for in the recent Joint Statement on Active Learning2 from CBMS. In order to increase the amount of active-learning taking place at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), An Inquiry-Based Approach to Abstract Algebra, a set of notes written by Dana C. Ernst at Northern Arizona University, were adopted as the text for the Fall 2016 Abstract Algebra course. Dr. Ernst’s notes were designed to be taught using the Modified Moore Method. As with many small liberal arts colleges and universities, our upper-level math courses are taught on a two-year rotation. The students in these courses can vary significantly in their prior mathematical preparation and knowledge. This particular course consisted of four students, none of which had previously experienced inquiry-based learning (IBL), ranging from a graduating senior to a junior transfer student currently completing the calculus sequence. Given that the Modified Moore Method is designed for classes with similar preparation and prior knowledge on the subject matter, further modifications to the method were introduced throughout the semester in an effort to ensure an effective learning environment for each student. In this talk, I will describe my experience introducing IBL in this setting. I will describe the challenges and advantages observed related to IBL and small class sizes. Further, this talk will include a discussion of the modifications that were made to make the course accessible for the entire class and the increase in performance and confidence I have witnessed throughout the semester in these students.
    • Using Active Learning and Open Educational Resources to Improve Student Access and Engagement

      Besing, Kyle E.; Trulen, Justin
      To increase student engagement and access to course materials, the Mathematics Program at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC) expanded the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs) and active learning techniques in mathematics courses ranging from MATH095. Foundations of Algebra to MATH402. Analysis I. A meta study of the use of OERs suggests that the use of these materials is at least as effective as materials from traditional publishers (Hilton, 2016) while drastically decreasing or eliminating the cost to students. Additionally, many studies indicate that the use of active learning can increase student engagement and passing rates while diminishing the achievement gap for women and low-achieving students (Laursen, 2014; Freeman, 2014; Asera, 2001). Given the varying levels of preparation and positive perceptions of mathematics between general education and upper-level mathematics courses, the implementation of OERs and active learning varied between courses. Some courses were redesigned to consist entirely of active learning techniques while others augmented a more traditional lecture approach with active learning experiences. In this presentation, we will describe the decisions that lead to this approach as well the types of OERs and active learning techniques that were adopted. A discussion of the successes and frustrations we experienced while implementing this project will hopefully encourage and assist others in following suit.