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Improving Retention By Redesigning Freshman Mathematics With The Dimensions Of Learning Pedagogy, Assessment, And Technology Framework

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Curricular Change Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.703.1 - 9.703.10



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Paper Authors

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Gaston N'Guerekata

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Solomon Alao

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Shurron Farmer

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Craig Scott

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Pamela Leigh-Mack

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2630

Improving Retention by Redesigning Freshmen Mathematics with the Dimensions of Learning Pedagogy, Assessment and Technology Framework Pamela Leigh-Mack, Shurron Farmer, Solomon Alao, Craig Scott, Gaston N’Guerekata Morgan State University Baltimore, Maryland

Abstract The retention of engineering students continues to be a major issue affecting engineering schools across the country and unsuccessful experiences in freshmen mathematics is one of the factors attributing to this problem. This paper presents a freshman mathematics course reform aimed at reducing Calculus I preparation time by at least one semester, improving pass rates and ultimately increasing the retention of engineering and computer science students. The Dimensions of Learning pedagogy, the use of technology and performance assessment are the main components of the framework used. A wireless mobile classroom was the key technological feature used in the redesign. The innovative Pre-Calculus course (IPC) redesign was performed by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the Schools of Engineering, Science and Education. The project design, implementation aspects, assessment techniques and evaluation results are given. The first course offering shows a 14% higher pass rate (‘C’ or better) in the innovative pilot course than that of the sections taught in a traditional format. Moreover, 81% of the new freshmen enrolled in the IPC and who placed in a mathematics course one or two levels below the IPC, via the University’s placement test, received a ‘C’ or better. Assessment results of the frameworks used will be given as well. Preliminary results indicate that this comprehensive approach can be a viable format for optimizing teaching and learning, and thereby improving student retention and academic success.

Introduction Many students are not Calculus ready upon entering colleges and universities and they also are unsuccessful at negotiating Calculus I at the first attempt, both which affects time to degree completion and impacts the students desire to remain in engineering, thereby affecting retention. In addition, when students initially take engineering courses, they often have difficulty translating mathematical concepts and knowledge to solve engineering problems. A Calculus Preparatory course has been redesigned by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the Schools of Engineering, Science and Education in order to increase the retention and academic success of engineering and computer science students. This course is being developed with the intent of engineering and computer science students, with varying mathematics preparation, completing Calculus I by the end of the first year, at a maximum. The objectives of this redesign are to 1) understand the learning process; 2) develop faculty who model best practices in integrating teaching and instructional technology; 3) increase the short and long term retention of electrical

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

N'Guerekata, G., & Alao, S., & Farmer, S., & Scott, C., & Leigh-Mack, P. (2004, June), Improving Retention By Redesigning Freshman Mathematics With The Dimensions Of Learning Pedagogy, Assessment, And Technology Framework Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13585

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015