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NCAT Developmental Math Redesign


									MASTER Math –
   Redesign     Getting Started in Course
                    Redesign Workshop
                     NCAT – NOVA
                    October 21, 2011
                   About NOVA
 5 general-purpose campuses, 1 medical education campus,
  and a distance education “campus”
 Annual unduplicated student headcount 75,490
 Fall 2010 FTES: 29,730
 Fall 2010 FTES in Math courses: 3,410
 Fall 2011 FTES in Developmental Math: 1,305
 Students from 177 countries in Fall 2010
 47% white, 17% Black, 16% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 6% other
 NOVA is an Achieving the Dream Leader College
                        Our Problem
 In 2007, student success rate in MTH 3 (Algebra I) was 38%
   – Other developmental math courses had similar success rates
   – Within 3 years of entering MTH 3, only 28% enroll in a college level
      math course and only 20% pass a college level math course
 Interventions we tried, with limited success:
   – Learning Communities, pairing Math with the Student Success course
   – Supplemental Learning
   – Embedded tutors
 Everyone would be better served if success rates were higher and
  students were able to finish their developmental studies in fewer
                 We’re not alone!
Nationally, interest in redesigning the developmental math curriculum is
 – American Mathematics Association for Two Year Colleges - New Life
    for Developmental Math
 – Carnegie Foundation
 – Bill and Melinda Gates and Hewlett Foundations
 – National Center for Academic Transformation
 – Redesign Alliance
 – Virginia Community College System
 – Many others
  The Turning Point: Developmental Education
  in Virginia’s Community Colleges
Affirmed three goals for the VCCS:
    – reduce the overall need for developmental
    – design developmental education in a way that
      reduces the time to complete developmental
      reading, writing, and mathematics requirements for
      most VCCS students to one academic year
    – increase the number of developmental education
      students graduating or transferring in four years
      from one in four students (25%) to at least one in
      three students (33%).
         VCCS “The Critical Point”
The VCCS was moving forward with a plan to modularize the
  Developmental Math curriculum
   – Streamlined content, teaching only what is needed in credit
   – Demonstrate mastery in a module to move on
   – Repeat only the module, not a whole course, when the
     student fails a module
   – Provide for different exit points for different groups of
   – Provide a more diagnostic placement test
   – Provide state-wide uniformity in content and standards
      What Is Wrong With Traditional Lecture

 Can’t slow down when material is difficult
 Once a student falls behind, it is hard to catch up
 If a student fails, he/she must repeat the whole
 Students may have to sit through lectures on
  some material they thoroughly understand
 Today’s students are different from those of the
      Why did we consider an NCAT
 NOVA faculty had been attending NCAT conferences for the last
  4+ years
 AtD teams had been discussing NCAT redesign models for the
  last 3 years
 Other interventions had less impact than desired
 We became increasingly convinced that tweaking our current
  course design was insufficient
   – REDESIGN, don’t just redesign
    Why did we consider an NCAT
 All campuses had been using MyMathLab or MathXL
  in varying degrees
 Through attending presentations and conferences,
  NOVA math faculty got excited about the successes
  at other schools, such as Cleveland State and Jackson
  State Community Colleges
              How did we start?
 Team of 16 attended NCAT “Changing the Equation”
  conference in Orlando in March 2010
 We wrote our “Readiness Criteria” document as a team,
  working through many issues of design and implementation
 We were invited to the follow-up conference in Dallas in
 We applied for the Changing the Equation grant for $40,000
 We were approved!
               How did we start?
 Formed a committee of Developmental Math Managers,
  one per campus, each with significant reassigned time
 Assigned a MyMathLab Administrator, with reassigned
 Established a chain of command to college
 Wrote objectives for each unit
 Constructed the MyLabsPlus site, with extensive
  opportunity for involvement by math faculty throughout
  the process
             How did we start?
 Completed pilot of our redesigned course Spring
  and Summer 2011
 Collected assessment data from common exam
  questions in traditional and pilot sections
 Converted classrooms to computer classrooms
  and large labs on each of the five campuses
 Went to full implementation in Fall 2011, with
  approximately 4900 students currently enrolled
    NCAT’s Principles of Successful
 Redesign the whole course
 Encourage active learning
 Provide students with individualized assistance
 Build in ongoing assessment and prompt automated
  feedback to students
 Ensure sufficient time on task and monitor student progress
 Modularize the student learning experience
       Features of our design model
   Mastery learning
   Fixed-flexible modified emporium model
   High tech + high touch
   Points for everything
   Organizational aids for students
   Regularly track student progress
   Common syllabus and procedures for all sections
   Communication within the team and across other groups
   NCAT’s Critical Implementation
 Achieve initial and ongoing faculty consensus about the
 Ensure an adequate technological infrastructure to support
  the redesign plans
 Prepare students and the campus for the changes
 Train instructors, instructional assistants and peer tutors
 Avoid backsliding by building ongoing institutional
  commitment to the redesign
          Faculty consensus
 Provide opportunities for input into course
  design – textbook, objectives, homework and
  test questions, syllabus, policies and
 Don’t wait for 100% agreement – debate and
  discuss, but eventually move forward
 Space issues are a challenge everywhere
 Allow sufficient time for renovations of spaces
 Consider HVAC, wiring, computer purchases,…
 Assign project managers committed to making
  things work out
 Work with SIS folks for a mechanism to track
  student progress through the units
           Communication plan
 Team of DMM’s is crucial
  • Empower the group to make decisions and establish
  • We have weekly phone conferences
 Discuss project with all math faculty, deans,
  counselors and advisors
 Do a publicity campaign to inform the students
                  Training plan
 Begin hiring lab assistants and tutors during pilot
 Prepare training documents for faculty
 We held a full day of college-wide training prior
  to fall semester, plus a policies meeting at each
 Continually monitor and prod the faculty
  regarding best practices
        Institutional Commitment
 We have the full support of our administration
 Tie the project to your student success initiatives
  such as Achieving the Dream
 We cannot go back to the old way, because the
  VCCS eliminated our old course structure
 For an institution our size, a modular curriculum
  could not be handled any other way
                Other challenges
 SIS interface with MLP
 Technology glitches – what do students do when
  MyLabsPlus is unavailable during lab or class time?
 NOVA vs. VCCS issues (permission for shell courses,
  consistent tracking mechanisms,…)
 Find meaningful way to compare course completion
 Create templates to simplify administrative work for
        Assessment results so far
 On common exam questions given to traditional
  sections and to redesign students, redesign
  students on average had 24.5% more correct
 Percent of S grades has not improved, but grading
  standards are different
 Student attitudes towards math have improved
              Budget Implications
 Cost savings
   – Teachers receive 3 teaching credits for teaching a 4 credit
 Additional expenses
   – Increased classified staff support
   – Ongoing reassigned time for DMM’s
   – Increased use of student and professional tutors
   – Start-up costs (space renovations, furniture and
 Without counting start-up expenses, we calculate 6.5% cost
  savings in course delivery
  Nuts and Bolts of NOVA’s Design
 Content of three courses (Arithmetic, Algebra I and
  Algebra II) streamlined into a total of 10 units, each
  with 3 modules
 Student registers for 4 credit course, and is expected
  to complete at least 4 units in the semester (one
  module per week)
 Student attends class in a computer classroom 2
  hours per week at a scheduled time, plus at least 2
  hours per week in “emporium”
  Nuts and Bolts of NOVA’s Design

 MyLabsPlus site provides e-textbook, video mini-lectures,
  PowerPoints, outline of notes for student to complete,
  homework with step-by-step hints available, quizzes and pre
  and post tests
 Master course is developed and given to instructors, who all
  teach with the same syllabus and uniform policies
 Mastery learning
 Points for everything (attendance, homework, notes, quizzes
  and exams)
 What we might have done differently

• Provide more reassigned time for
  development of course materials
• Make a stronger academic honesty policy
  from the beginning
• Create an inactive student policy
• Introduce time management skills early

Joyce Samuels
Dean, Natural and Applied Sciences
Loudoun Campus

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