Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
In most of developing countries, high school students lack of a solid education in mathematics. In addition, due to the economic situation, each year more freshmen students combine college with a full time job position. For this reason, many universities in Latin America offer engineering degrees, with schedules designed to fit their needs. It is well known that part-time students belong to the so-called group “non-traditional”, which among others, have higher levels of dropout and lower levels of engagement compared to full-time students.
In this paper, we focus on freshmen students who are enrolled in a Differential Calculus Course, whose audience are part-time students. In recent years, the attendance and performance of this group began to differ significantly from those enrolled as full-time students. As a result, we designed and implemented a different approach for such a course, based on Team based learning (TBL). This approach is a powerful methodology, that provides a complete framework for building a flipped classroom experience. However, our students are not used to this kind of methodologies, because they are not commonly implemented in high school. In addition, since TBL is a flipped classroom methodology, students tend to perceive that instructors do not contribute to their learning experience, since in TBL, the instructors are only a facilitator in their learning process and the great majority of the work is done by the students themselves. Furthermore, in the specific case of part-time students, the time needed to be prepared for a TBL session is extremely limited. As a result we propose what we call Guided Lecture - TBL (GL-TBL), whose singularity is that the reading assignment in the traditional TBL is replaced by a lecture taught by the instructor. It is important to emphasize that, this lecture is based on the course textbook and its format tries to accomplish the TBL session objectives; hence, perfectly substituting the TBL reading assignment. The Differential Calculus course was divided in 4 sessions a week, in which Guided Lectures and TBL activities (such as iRAT, tRAT and problem solving) alternate.
To measure the effectiveness of GL-TBL in a Differential Calculus course, we implemented this methodology in one out of three sections offered for part-time students. Thus, we were able to compare the GL-TBL results not only with the part-time students but also with those enrolled as full-time. In order to quantify the results of the implementation of GL-TBL in the setting described above, we took into account three important facts: (i) average attendance during the course, (ii) percentage of students who pass the course, and (iii) average final grade. In terms of attendance, it increased by 30% in comparison with the same section in the previous year. Moreover, there is no statistical difference between the average attendance to the GL-TBL section and those full-time students’ sections. On the other hand, the percentage of students who passed the course in the GL-TBL section was around 70%, this is around 2 times the percentage of students who approved the course in the previous year.
Portillo, J. R., & Alvarado, A. E., & Samayoa Ranero, J. (2018, June), Guided-Lecture Team Based Learning at Work: Teaching Differential Calculus to Part-time Engineering Students in Latin America. Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30567
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