Background on the Redesign
Why Redesign Your Course?
The redesign will incorporate team projects into the course. Collaborative assignments and projects in Pre-Calculus course will help students to get a better idea of how the mathematics and science disciplines connect with ‘real world’ applications that are involved in daily life. As many students in this class are undeclared freshmen, projects could help them appreciate the material through hands-on experiences. It will help them to feel the importance of math and science as related to everyday life, and perhaps it will define their career goals. Also, students will implement their Pre-Calculus knowledge in the team-based research projects developing greater academic interest in STEM disciplines.
Math 105 is 4 unit Pre-Calculus course which includes College Algebra and Trigonometry. Catalog description is the following: number systems and their algebraic properties; systems of equations and inequalities; basic analytic geometry of lines and conic sections; elementary functions including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic, with emphasis on trigonometric functions, fundamental theorem of algebra and theory of equations; polar equations and curves.
The Learning Problem:
Many students come to class underprepared and we need to close the gaps in their math knowledge. Students will use online materials as supplementary review and instructions on how to perform certain tasks, for example, write an equation or enter graphs on their poster. I plan to use online homework and math video lectures that accompany the textbook. We plan to use XYZtextbooks for all Math 105 sections. There are many examples in the ebook and they have a Spanish version which can improve performance of students not fluent in English.
This course mainly is taken by all science and business major students if they are not ready for Calculus. Prerequisite for Pre-Calculus course is a passing score on the Entry Level Mathematics Examination or Math 095 which is Intermediate Algebra course. In fact, many students will not take College Algebra course since this course is not a required course for many majors. Immediately right after taking Intermediate Algebra, students will register for Pre-Calculus course. All necessary preparation topics for Calculus course must be covered in Pre-Calculus. Additionally, Pre-Calculus course fulfills the requirements for General Education.
The major goal of the redesign is to prepare students for their future Calculus course and to engage them in STEM problems. During the course students study topics in algebra, analytical geometry and trigonometry and directly apply them to their projects. Listed below are the SLO for the course
Student Learning Outcomes: Through this course, students will be able to
- Improve their advanced algebraic and mathematical thinking skills.
- Apply methods of analytic geometry and trigonometry.
- Apply algebraic skills and computer software to problem solving.
- Apply various functions and their graphs to problem solving.
- Organize and express ideas clearly and convincingly in oral and written forms.
High Demand/Low Success Issues:
Pre-Calculus course has a notable increase in the number of students taking this course over time. However, the success rate is very low. We have about 37% of students receiving repeatable grades in all sections in 2015 – 2016 years. C- is not included for a non-passing grade.