About the Students and Instructor(s)
Math 105 is a required course for STEM and Business majors. A majority of students in this course are Freshman, majoring either in Biology or Business. They pursue a higher degree and started their education at CSUCI. Statistics for Math 105 course in Fall 2017 were the following: Freshman 59%, Sophomore 28%, Junior 9% and Senior 4%. 88% of students taking PreCalculus course started their education at CSUCI and 12% of students transferred from a variety of community colleges. 62% of students would like to continue with their education and receive a higher degree. 34% were not sure about the advanced degree, and only 4% knew that they will apply for the advanced degree.
Advice I Gave My Students to be Successful
- Do some homework problems every day. Do not wait until the deadline.
- If you have trouble with a problem, refer to the worked example in the notes. If it is still not clear; come to my office, ask a question before/after class, go to the tutoring center, ask someone in class, post a question on the discussion board.
- Always check your work frequently to make sure you are on the right track.
- Follow the rule of thumb two hours of homework per one hour of lecture
- Read the syllabus as soon as the syllabus is posted on Canvas and review it at least five times per semester
- Get familiar with all assignments and links that are posted on Canvas
- Sign up for math lab Math 399
- Come to the class prepared
- Participate in class discussions
- Mark anything in your notes you don’t understand
- Have a positive math attitude!
- Come prepared with a pencil, scratch paper, and calculator
- Scan the entire test and manage tour time for each question
- Read directions carefully, highlight key words
- Start to solve easy problems first
- Write down anything that might help to solve a problem
- If you can’t solve a problem, make a guess
- Do not erase your solutions and never leave blanks under the question
- Check for careless errors
- Do not leave the classroom earlier than 20 minutes before the end of the exam
- Do not panic!
- Make sure you understand the topic
- Stay with deadlines
- Keep frequent meetings with your group mates
- Stop by at my office for a help
- Be enthusiastic!
“My advice to you, dear Student, is to follow your dreams, listen to your heart. Mathematics is not an easy subject, but you can learn it with a lot of practice and dedication. Invite Mathematics, Queen of Sciences, to be your friend and not your enemy. Together you can achieve your dreams and success will follow.”
Impact of Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives (SLOs) on Course Redesign
Alignment of SLOs with Course Redesign
Listed below are the SLO and the course description for the course as it is stated in the catalog of CSUCI.
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.
Assessments Used to Measure Students’ Achievement of SLOs
The content of the course follows the textbook PreCalculus Building Concepts and Connections by Revathi Narasimhan. During the semester students have four exams. A first exam covers a brief review of Intermediate Algebra course, the second exam covers topics from College Algebra. The third exam covers Trigonometry. Analytic Geometry is explained at the end of the course. Final exam is cumulative with a higher concentration of College Algebra, Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry. There is also group work assignments and a collaborative assignment which is research work. The research for the course is the implementation of a team project with the combination of current topics based on the course description and SLO. Students will be expected to cover the same amount of material as a regular course as well as be engaged in the research. The grade for the project should not exceed 15% of the overall grade. The final day of the project should be two weeks before the last day of classes. This day is going to be the deadline to turn in the project. The final results from the project should be done in the form of a poster. Below are rubrics that I use for grading the research poster.
Accessibility, Affordability, and Diversity Considerations
For the course redesign project we have selected the digital learning platform, XYZ – textbook, for a few reasons. First of all, this book follows the learning objectives for the course. Second, the content of e-book is accessible for all students in class. It is closed captioned with active links for additional exercises and video examples, colorfully illustrated. Video examples or MathTV recorded by five tutors, each has its own way of solving a problem. Also, one of tutors speaks Spanish, which can help second language learners to understand the solution. The homework that accompanies the book is very adaptable, so instructors can create their own set of questions for students. Every student has its own set of problems for each homework assignment. The syntax for homework is very basic and every student can follow it. Students can manage on their own late passes provided by the instructor. The materials in XYZ text book are all ADA compliant. The tech support is always willing to help students and instructors.
Additionally, we utilized the Learning Glass and created caption instructor videos for selected topics in the course. Videos were posted on Canvas and linked with topics that students currently were covering.
The textbook is very affordable for students. The cost of the ebook is $45 for one year for any algebra textbook that the company is providing. This price includes ebook, online homework and video lectures. Additionally, if a student will retake the course then he or she does not need to pay anything, or if a student will take Intermediate Algebra in Fall and then Pre-Calculus in Spring then the student will not pay anything since we plan to use XYZtextbooks in Intermediate Algebra class as well. After one-year, students can pay $20 to extend the access for another year for a review of algebra or trigonometry skills that are necessary for Calculus course. There are many examples in the ebook and they have a Spanish version which can improve performance of students not fluent in English. Videos that accompany the book are free.
Students have an option of renting free graphic/scientific calculators through the math department for the whole semester. Materials that students use in their research work are provided through the grant and the math department.
California State University Channel Islands has a strong diversity among students and faculty. In three Precalculus sections in Fall 2017, I had 43% of Mexican-American and 32% of Caucasian students. Students for whom English is a second language could access MathTV in Spanish language. There is a higher percentage of female students 53%, compared to male students 47%. Also, only half of my students did not have a job. The other half of students were working anywhere between 1 – 40 hours per week. This shows that students must manage their time properly between their work and education. Keeping this in mind, we provided a variety of different time slots for tutoring in math and project discussions.
About the Instructor
Anna Tivy is a full-time math lecturer at the CSU Channel Islands. She has taught PreCalculus courses for many years. In 2015 – 16, Anna participated in the Cross-Institutional Learning Community Faculty Fellows Program ALAS/iPath. Together with colleagues, Anna worked to improve teaching, learning practices, curricular innovations, and student learning outcomes. A part of this involved the development of a new Early Childhood Math course, Math 207, at CSUCI. Anna has participated in a variety of consulting projects such as Implementation of Early Assessment Project and Embedded Research for Undergraduates under Project ACCESO, she developed Signature Assignments for GE assessment for PreCalculus course. Anna is a contributing Author in PreCalculus Sixth Edition, issued by BVT Publishing. She mentors many undergraduate students; some of these scholars have presented their research projects at SCURR and MAA regional meetings. Her career objectives are to develop the attributes of researchers within her students and to show students that mathematics is not only about memorizing formulas, but the key to science.