• 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.
    • Peer Mentors Improve Academic Outcomes in Student Centered Psychology Research Methods and Statistics

      Pilot, Zachery; Surprise, Malinda; Dinius, Cassandra; Olechowski, Alicia; Habib, Reza
      Students often enter undergraduate research methods and statistics (RMS) courses with trepidation (Dempster & McCorry, 2009;?Freng, Webber, Blatter, Wing, & Scott, 2011;?Vittengl et al., 2004) fueled by factors including a fear of being under prepared for the material (Hudak & Anderson, 1990), believing that traditional lectures are passive (Gasiewski, Eagan, Garcia, Hurtado, & Chang, 2012), and being anxious about learning statistics (Macher, Paechter, Papousek, & Ruggeri, 2012). We redesigned our RMS course to be student-centered, involving a semester long research project, and including problem-based learning activities to mitigate student concern about RMS courses. We predicted that support from peer mentors would serve as scaffolding for student development in multiple domains, helping them successfully navigate the course and result in improved academic performance (Chi, Siler, Jeong, Yamauchi, & Hausmann, 2001). In the first semester of the study (Fall 2016), one section of the RMS course was taught with the inclusion of peer-mentors in the classroom (experimental condition), while the other section was taught in a traditional format (without peer-mentors; control condition). In the second semester of the study (Spring 2017), both sections of the RMS course employed peer-mentors in the classroom. A MANCOVA was conducted to assess the impact of the presence of peer-mentors in the classroom on exam performance while controlling for background variables. A 2 Classroom (A vs. B) by 2 Semester (Fall 2016 vs. Spring 2017) by 4 Evaluations (Test 1, Test 2, Test 3, Final Exam) multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted with 2 pretests as covariates. There was a significant main effect of Classroom, F (1, 164) = 12.54, p < 0.001; ?MS?_e = 0.047. Two separate MANCOVAs were conducted to examine these differences. For Fall 2016, there was a main effect of Classroom, F (1, 86) = 12.78, p < 0.001; ?MS?_e= 0.044. For Spring 2017, the only effect to reach significance was the Classroom x Evaluation 2-way interaction, F (3, 228) = 2.90, p < 0.05; ?MS?_e= 0.010. The results revealed larger differences between the RMS sections during the first semester (Fall 2016) of the study where the sections differed with respect to the presence of peer-mentors in the classroom (control vs. experimental sections) than in the second semester (Spring 2017) of the study where both sections employed peer-mentors. The findings are in line with the hypotheses: students who received support and guidance from peer mentors fared better than their counterparts in the classroom without peer mentors. These results suggest that tailoring mentoring programs to specific issues within gatekeeper courses has a positive impact on student academic performance and may help in retaining those students within the major (Seymour, 2011).