ED21C-0722: Taking "The Math You Need When You Need It" Modules Beyond Introductory Geology Courses

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Authors: Eric M Baer1, Jennifer M Wenner2, Helen E Burn3

Author Institutions: 1. Geology / MS 29-3, Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA, USA; 2. Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI, USA; 3. Mathematics, Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA, USA

“The Math You Need, When You Need It”รน (TMYN) modules are finding use well beyond the courses for which they were originally written. However, faculty survey responses indicate that the modules are used in similar ways, suggesting that the overall design of the modules is effective. TMYN modules are online resources designed to help students develop quantitative skills in conjunction with introductory geology courses. Since 2010, 29 faculty members at 26 institutions used these asynchronous resources at in 68 different courses nationwide, impacting about 3000 students. After each use of the modules, instructors responded to a survey about their use of the modules and the impact on each course and student cohort. Of the 29 instructors, 16 responded with a total of 36 implementations, a 52% response rate. Survey responses indicate use of TMYN modules in classes well beyond their original design. The modules were originally designed for students in introductory geology classes, especially those targeted at non-geoscience majors. Sixty-nine percent (22/32) of TMYN courses included introductory geology courses such as Physical Geology, Earth System Science and Environmental Geology. The remainder of courses included multiple uses in oceanography and meteorology courses and more specialized geoscience courses such as geomorphology, structural geology and hydrology. Surveys suggest that only 63% of courses that used TMYN (20/32) were targeted to students in general education courses. Nine percent (3/32) of courses were targeted to STEM majors and 19% (6/32) were specifically targeted to geoscience majors, including upper-level courses. Despite the wide variety of institutions, instructors, classes, and student educational goals, faculty incorporated the modules into their curriculum in as originally designed, indicating that the overall design of the modules is effective. Twenty-two respondents indicate that modules were assigned immediately prior to using a skill in the classroom (either in lab exercises or a lecture period). Almost all instructors employed pre- and posttests to gauge learning. More than _ of survey respondents introduced the modules within the first week of class. In all but one instance, students were instructed to complete an online quiz immediately after working through the online modules and most (77%) designed these post-module quizzes as formative assessments allowing at least 3 attempts. The grades on these modules contributed to students’ grades but were relatively low stakes with 88% reporting that the modules contributed to less than 10% of a student’s course grade. Given the use beyond the introductory geology classroom and the similarity of the use of these modules in a wide variety of courses, it appears that the design of the modules is sound. However, previous studies have indicated that mathematical skills are not easily transferred (e.g. Bassok. and Holyoak, 1989) suggesting the adaptation of the modules for use outside the geosciences.

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