Modified Peer-Assisted Learning Opportunities for Undergraduate Students
AffiliationKentucky Wesleyan College
TitleModified Peer-Assisted Learning Opportunities for Undergraduate Students
MetadataShow full item record
Studies are regularly published about the importance of active learning. Active learning has been shown to help improve over all grades, reduce the number of DWF, increase students persistence in the STEM fields, as well as many other benefits [6, 7, 9, 10, 5, 11]. However creating such in-class activities required a great deal of time and work. Regardless of ones personal teaching philosophy, creating these active learning activities can pose incredible challenges regardless of the size of institution and resources.
I reached out to several of our Mathematics and Education double majors, and Education with Mathematics emphasis majors with an opportunity to help me address the above issues. They were asked if they would like to help design collegiate course materials for Kentucky Wesleyan Colleges Mathematics course. The courses range from Foundations of Mathematics to Calculus III. These students select a course they were the most interested in and using examples they began designing their own work.
No studies have been found where others have implemented a similar system on the under- graduate level. However several other studies have been found at the graduate level. These programs were across various disciples implementing peer-assisted learning (PAL), peer teaching (PT) or focused on a formal leadership training as a component in their learning outcomes In , they studied the effect when there was a slight shift in focus from strengthening discipline-specific knowledge to understanding effective teaching for a class of future educators. In , they designed an elective graduate pharmacy course that was taught by graduate students under the supervision of faculty members. In , graduate students developed work- shop sessions for engineering courses. In , graduate students developed an upper-level online green chemistry course. In , , and , all also reference the importance and the challenges when implementing such programs in their respected fields. All studies noted positive results with minimal to no negative side-effects.
We started out with weekly meeting to allow students time to ask questions and get feedback about design preferences of the questions. Since all active learning activities are built in a program called LATEX they also needed time to learn how to use this program. Initially, they began designing active learning activities that could be grouped into one of two categories but as time went on they began to branch out in to a couple of other types. As activities were finished, they were uses in the classroom if time permitted. Overall positive feedback from students were received in relation to the given active learning activity.
This collaborative work is in the early development. A discussion of future goals are other types of activities to branch into and what to do with such a wide range of activities. Also a discussion of the importance of recruiting more students. We will discuss the importance of creating the opportunities for new ideas to make their way into the courses via these activities. Finally, the goal of using additional technologies, like light board and online grading systems, to further aid in the use of these activities will be outlined.
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