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College Freshman Beliefs About Studying and Learning Mathematics: Results from a Summer Engineering Calculus Bridge Program

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Mathematics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28048

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28048

Download Count

93

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Paper Authors

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Sandra Nite Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0181-1150

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Sandra Nite, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at Aggie STEM, Department of Teaching, Learning, & Culture and Senior Lecturer in Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University, where she has taught 10 different courses in mathematics and mathematics education. She has served on several committees in the mathematics department, including course development for teacher education in mathematics. Her research agenda includes engineering calculus success, including high school preparation for college. Previously, she taught 8 additional courses at the college level and 13 different high school courses in mathematics and science. She has worked with teacher professional development for over 20 years, and served as mathematics curriculum coordinator for 7 years. She works with teachers from all corners of Texas with teacher quality grants, including a number of teachers in the juvenile justice schools.

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G. Donald Allen Texas A&M University

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Dr. Allen has been a professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University for more than two decades. He is currently Director of the Center for Technology-Mediated Learning in the Department of Mathematics. His mathematical research has been in the areas of probability, functional analysis, numerical analysis, neutronics, and mathematical modeling. His education research is in technology in survey design and other subjects. Allen has co-developed an online calculus course and online texts in linear algebra and the history of mathematics. In addition, he has co-developed a fully online master's of science degree in mathematics, one of only two nationally, and the only one specifically designed for teachers. For the master's program, he developed more than seven online courses. Recently, Allen co-developed a "course-in-a-box" pre-calculus course by combining content, pedagogy, assessment, videos, animations, and interactivity. Currently, he is leading a multi-institutional course redesign project in Math 1324 for the THECB. He is also active in a NSF funded GK-12 project with rural middle schools.

Allen is editor of the Math/Science-Online Newsletter and a consulting editor for Thomson Learning. He is also associated editor for the Schools Science and Mathematics Journal and the Focus on Mathematics Pedagogy and Content. Allen, with more than 50 publications, has given nearly 40 professional development workshops and over 150 seminars throughout the U.S. and Europe. In particular, he has participated in numerous professional development workshops primarily for Texas high school teachers, including those in technonlogy, algebra, pre-calculus, and problem solving. He has also developed a number of educational Flash interactive applets for teaching at various levels of mathematics, physics, and statistics.

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Ali Bicer Texas A&M University

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Ali Bicer was a high school mathematics teacher in Turkey for three years. He came to Texas A&M University from Turkey for his doctoral work after graduating from Belal Bayar University in 2006. His Ministry of National Education Scholarship allowed him to complete his Masters in Mathematics Education in 2012 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics Education in 2016, both at Texas A&M University. Upon graduation in 2016, he had the highest number of publications in the program so far. He served as the STEM Summer Camp Assistant Director for two years. In addition, he taught students in the camp as well as assisting with teacher professional development. His honors include the Lechner Scholarship and the College of Education Graduate Strategic Support Scholarship. As a graduate student, he distinguished himself through his extensive publications on STEM teaching and learning and has participated in the writing of several grant proposals. He presented his research at several educational research conferences including AERA, NCTM, and SERA as well as having papers in proceedings of FIE and AAEE in engineering education. He earned several publications including journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He is currently teaching mathematics education courses and conducting rigorous research in the field as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Texas A&M University. With his background, he is on track to become a successful mathematics educator and scholar.

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Jim Morgan Charles Sturt University

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Jim Morgan is the father of two daughters and the spouse of an engineer. Before joining Charles Sturt University as Professor of Engineering and Inaugural Course Director in 2015, he was on the faculty in civil engineering at Texas A&M for over 30 years. Jim has been active in the freshman engineering program at A&M for nearly 20 years; was an active participant in the NSF Foundation Coalition from 1993 to 2003; also has received funding for his engineering education research from the Department of Education FIPSE program and from the National Science Foundation CCLI program.
He is active in the American Society for Engineering Education, is past chair of the Freshman Programs Division, currently serves on the steering committee. In addition to his teaching in engineering, Jim served several years as Co-Director of the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program in the Center for Public Leadership at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service; and also served as director of Aggie STEM with funding from the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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Vanessa Mae Warren Texas A&M University

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Vanessa Warren is a Biochemistry and Genetics major and a freshman undergraduate research assistant at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include mathematics teaching and learning and teacher professional development for STEM education.

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Luciana Barroso Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3420-9449

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Luciana R. Barroso, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Luciana has been with Texas A&M University since 1999, and in that time has taught multiple different courses ranging from the freshman to graduate levels. She has been active in academic program and curriculum development from the department level to the university level, where she served as co-chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) committee that determined the academic course of actions to be taken over the next accreditation cycle to addresses critical issues related to enhancing student learning. She has received funding for her engineering education research from the Department of Education FIPSE program and from the National Science Foundation (NSF) CCLI program. She is co-Director of the Aggie STEM Center that provides professional development to K-12 teachers. Her research interests include structural health monitoring and control, structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, and engineering education.

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Abstract

Many incoming college freshman struggle with learning to study and prepare for college examinations in mathematics. High performing high school students often easily succeeded in their mathematics courses while spending very little time in studying the subject. The strategies they used do not always transfer well to the university environment, and they must learn to prepare for assessments over larger amounts of material in a shorter time period. A bridge program was implemented to support incoming freshmen whose mathematics understanding and skills were weak, based on their Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE). Surveys were conducted each week of the three-week intervention to determine student beliefs about what study strategies they believed served them well in high school mathematics, what strategies they expected to use in college, and how much time they expected to spend on their mathematics studies in the bridge program and in college calculus courses. Students spent 36 hours during the 3-week period in small groups, with an online tutor. In addition, they had online practice quizzes, instructional videos, and an online textbook. They were given the MPE again at the end of the program. If they increased their scores to meet the cut score of 22 out 33 correct, they were allowed to enroll in engineering calculus I. This study examines their responses to the surveys during the bridge program and their grades, including any correlations that exist among the variables.

The purpose of this paper is to answer the research questions: 1) How do incoming college freshman beliefs about studying and learning mathematics affect their participation in a summer precalculus bridge program? 2) How well do incoming college freshman beliefs about studying and learning mathematics correlate with their grades in engineering calculus?

Nite, S., & Allen, G. D., & Bicer, A., & Morgan, J., & Warren, V. M., & Barroso, L. (2017, June), College Freshman Beliefs About Studying and Learning Mathematics: Results from a Summer Engineering Calculus Bridge Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28048

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