FITW Just-In-Time, Blended Math

Funded By

“First in the World” (FITW) initiative of the Fund for Improving Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), U. S. Department of Education

Project Period

October 2014-September 2018

Project Goals

  • Increase STEM completion rates for low-income, first-generation and under-represented minority students by addressing a key stumbling block: marginal mathematics preparation. Difficulty with the required mathematics is one of the top reasons why students of all kinds drop out of STEM programs. Low-income, first-generation and under-represented minority students are more likely to enter college with weaker math preparation and less confidence in their skills than college students generally.
  • Develop a blended, “just-in-time” approach to math fundamentals coaching that provides students with the support they need while they are taking introductory science courses. Science curricula generally follow prescribed course sequences, and traditional “remedial” approaches to math preparation risk increasing a science major’s time to degree by delaying the entry point for starting the introductory sequence. This risk is particularly acute at small institutions like ours, which often lack the demand and the staffing to start sequences in both the spring and fall semesters.
  • To develop and test this approach we will:
    • Develop a suite of online, interactive learning materials on the mathematics concepts and skills commonly encountered in introductory chemistry, physics and calculus courses
    • Develop “playlists” that align these materials with these courses at each partner college
    • Provide faculty and academic support staff with the pedagogical training needed to effectively use these materials to provide a blended, just-in-time approach to math fundamentals support
    • Pilot these materials and the approach in introductory physics, calculus and chemistry courses at Bryn Mawr in 2015-2016 and at partner colleges in 2016-2017

Partners

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