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Initial Evaluation of the Impact of Math Study Groups on First-Year Student Course Success

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

22.878.1 - 22.878.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18969

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Marissa Jablonski University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Marissa R. Jablonski is a Ph.D. Student of Civil/Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She serves as program coordinator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded FORTE (Fostering Opportunities for Tomorrow's Engineers) program at UWM and works to recruit and retain undergraduate minorities and women to UWM's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Marissa is focusing her dissertation on sustainable oxidation of textile wastewater and is working to create small-scale wastewater treatment units for cottage textile industries. She trained at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur, India where she worked on biodegradation of azo dye intermediates. Marissa served as Co-chair of UWM’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders for 2 years since its inception in 2007 and continues to help design and implement water distribution projects in Guatemala. Marissa Jablonski was a 2008 recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention, the 2008 Wisconsin Water Association Scholarship, and the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 UWM Chancellor’s Graduate Student Awards. Marissa is a member of ASEE and EWB. She received her BS degree in Natural Resources and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2003, her MS degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from UWM in 2009 and will receive her Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from UWM in 2013.

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John R. Reisel University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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John R. Reisel is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM.) He serves as Associate Director of the Center for Alternative Fuels, and co-Director of the Energy Conversion Efficiency Lab. In addition to research into engineering education, his research efforts focus on combustion and energy utilization. Dr. Reisel was a 2005 recipient of the UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 2000 UWM-College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Teaching Award, and a 1998 recipient of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. Dr. Reisel is a member of ASEE, ASME, the Combustion Institute, and SAE. Dr. Reisel received his B.M.E. degree from Villanova University in 1989, his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1991, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1994.

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Hossein Hosseini University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Hoessein Hosseini has received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Iowa in 1982. He has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1983. Currently he is the Chairman of the Computer Science Program. Dr. Hosseini’s expertise is in the areas of Computer Networks, Computer Architecture, Fault-Tolerance, Distributed and Parallel Computing. He is the founder and Co-Director of Computer Networks Laboratory at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Hosseini has published over 120 papers in reviewed journals and conference proceedings, has received funding from NSF and industry, has graduated nine Ph.D. and over 60 M.S. students.

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Ethan V Munson University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Associate Professor of Computer Science. Ph.D., U. Calif. Berkeley, 1994.

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Leah Rineck

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Leah Rineck is a Lecturer in the Mathematical Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Leah Rineck received her B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1998 and her M.S. degree in Math from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2004.

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Abstract

Initial Evaluation of the Impact of Math Study Groups on First-Year Student Course SuccessAbstractAs part of an NSF-funded STEP project, first-year students in engineering and computerscience were assigned to small study groups based upon their math course. The groupswere facilitated by upper-level undergraduate students, and met weekly through the Falland Spring semesters of the 2009-10 academic year. While attendance was stronglyencouraged, attendance at the study group sessions was not required. In the Fall 2009semester, study groups were organized around the Intermediate Algebra course, theCollege Algebra and Trigonometry courses, and the first Calculus course. In the Spring2010 semester, study groups were added for higher-level Calculus and DifferentialEquations courses. During the study groups, students would work on assigned homeworkproblem as well as additional problems provided by the facilitators. The students workedtogether to solve the problems, with guidance and some tutoring provided by thefacilitators.In the Fall 2009 semester, attendance in the study groups was approximately 30%. Thisdropped to 15% in the Spring 2010, which we attribute to students forming their ownstudy groups as well as increased realization among the students that there was noobvious consequence to not attending the groups. Our initial observations of the impactof the study groups include the following: (1) there was a subset of students who werelikely to succeed in the course without attending any study group; (2) for the remainderof the students, the students’ grades were often higher based upon attending more studygroup sessions; and (3) the study groups for the College Algebra and Trigonometrycourses had the largest impact on students’ performance, particularly in the Fall 2009semester. The results indicate that study groups can be a successful method forimproving first-year student learning of math concepts. In turn, this should improve theretention and eventual graduation of the students.In this paper, the study groups are described in greater detail, and the results of the studygroups’ impact on student grades are presented. Based on what was learned in the 2009-10 year, some modifications to the study group format were made to increase theirimpact. These changes are described in the paper as well.

Jablonski, M., & Reisel, J. R., & Hosseini, H., & Munson, E. V., & Rineck, L. (2011, June), Initial Evaluation of the Impact of Math Study Groups on First-Year Student Course Success Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18969

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