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The Crux: Promoting Success in Calculus II

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Doug Bullock Boise State University

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Doug Bullock is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Boise State University. He is currently serving as Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. His research interests include impacts of pedagogy on STEM student success and retention.

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Janet Callahan Boise State University Orcid 16x16

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Janet Callahan is Chair and Professor of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University. Dr. Callahan received her PhD in Materials Science, MS in Metallurgy, and BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her educational research interests include retention, mathematics and materials science teaching and learning, first-year programs, accreditation, and faculty development.

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Jocelyn B. S. Cullers Boise State University

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Jocelyn B. S. Cullers is a Data Analyst at the Institute for STEM & Diversity Initiatives at Boise State University.

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The Crux: Promoting Success in Calculus II

In the 2013-14 school year State University launched a major overhaul of Calculus I. In subsequent years we developed a tool kit of assessments to gauge the effects of this transformation on students success and retention. The tool kit includes -- Pass rate and GPA in Calc I. -- Longitudinal analysis of pass rates and GPA in subsequent courses. -- Impact of Calc I on retention in STEM and retention at State University. -- All of the above comparing students in reformed Calc vs traditional Calc. -- All of the above for URM, women, or other demographic subsets. These tools were developed to study the Calc I project, but have since become regularly used tools in other courses are State University. Results from Calculus I have been published in a sequence of papers over the last 3 years.

It is accepted wisdom that the crux of the Calculus sequence is the second term. Knowing this, State University overhauled Calculus II in the 2015- 16 school year following the same general plan as the overhaul of Calculus I. Pass rate and GPA improvements were evident immediately after scale up in the spring of 2016, but other metrics were not available until now. Sufficient time has passed so that we can apply the full set of assessment tools built for Calculus I to measure the effectiveness of the Calculus II transformation.

In this paper we will describe the new Calculus II course and report on the findings from applying all of the above assessments.

Bullock, D., & Callahan, J., & Cullers, J. B. S. (2018, June), The Crux: Promoting Success in Calculus II Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31085

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