Develop an online instructor's manual for faculty teaching University Seminar (UNIV 1010)
The purpose of this project was to develop an online instructor's manual for faculty teaching University Seminar (UNIV 1010). This course is designed to assist first-year students in developing tools necessary for an effective transition into the university community that will ultimately lead them to success. Unlike other university faculty, UNIV 1010 instructors are not all housed in a single department full time where they have opportunities for collaboration with peers that would facilitate the exchange of ideas that leads to more effective teaching. Also, due to the nature of this program, each fall several new instructors teach the course. Although many of the instructors are acquainted with the use of technology, many are not aware of how it can be utilized to help achieve instructional goals. Creating the online manual gives UNIV 1010 instructors immediate access to sample syllabi, sample lesson plans, topics for small group discussion, other web resources, and PowerPoint presentations that can be utilized in class.
Recommendations set forth by a University Retention Task Force in 1993 suggested that the University Seminar course be expanded to include most of the incoming students. This suggestion was based on information from Noel-Levitz that indicated "extended orientation courses improve retention, improve academic performance (including grade point average, communication skills, units completed, academic dismissals, study habits and attitudes, and relations with faculty) and increase knowledge of Student Services." The report also indicated that MTSU students who took the course were retained at rates higher than those that did not.
Based on this report, Fay Johnson in Academic Affairs was given the responsibility to grow the program. As a result the program has grown from the offering of 7 sections in fall 1992 to over 60 sections in Fall 2004. Because of a renewed focus on student transition and retention, and the increasingly significant role that this course can serve in regards to it, the responsibilities for the University Seminar 1010 program were transferred to the Academic Enrichment Department.
The catalog description of University Seminar 1010 (UNIV 1010) states that it is a course "designed to help freshman students develop tools needed for success. This seminar course helps new students appreciate the value of a higher education, learn about the numerous campus resources available to them, clarify their career goals, and gain academic skills required of the successful college student." Presently, it is an elective 3-hour course required only of undeclared students. There are several students who opt to take the course based on its merits. Class sizes are capped at 25 students and are taught by approximately 45 University administrators, faculty, and adjuncts from the community.
The purpose of this project was to develop an online instructor's manual for this course. Unlike other university faculty, UNIV 1010 instructors are not all housed in a single department full time where they have opportunities for collaboration with peers that would facilitate the exchange of ideas that leads to more effective teaching. Also, due to the nature of this program, each fall several new instructors teach the course. Although many of the instructors are acquainted with the use of technology, many are not aware of how it can be utilized to help achieve instructional goals.
CAUSEweb Digital Library
The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) is an organization comprised of over 30 institutions including two-year colleges, liberal arts colleges, small state universities and comprehensive institutions across the nation. Since the inception of the web, there have been many attempts to create portals to a host of statistical references (e.g. applets, lesson plans, videos). However, it has proven difficult for these sites to have the most up-to-date versions of these references. These sites rarely provide the user with information regarding the quality, usefulness, or appropriate uses of the resources.
The purpose of this project is to create a completely searchable digital library of statistical references. This library will provide a searchable well-indexed annotated links to useful materials found on the Internet. This library will also be using targeted Instructional Management Systems metadata standards that allows for harvesting (or federated searching) with other digital libraries.
The intended audience is anyone teaching statistics at the undergraduate level. This may also include high school teachers teaching AP statistics or professors who teach some graduate statistics courses would also find the digital library useful. There are currently approximately 800,00 students taking an undergraduate statistics class. The fact that the metadata from the library will be harvested by the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) and by other digital libraries opens yet another secondary audience. For example, there may be an instructor in political science who wants an applet or lesson plan on the statistics of polling. It may be difficult for a professor, who has had relatively few courses in statistics, to develop sharp lesson plans on polling. However, using an OAI based search he or she may find several applets, examples, and teaching tips that specifically address his or her needs. This will be an ongoing project that is expected to be completed in the summer of 2005.
Implication For Instructional Enhancement
Consider the following scenario: Janet teaches an introductory statistics class and is looking for a way to illustrate the binomial distribution. She comes to the site www.causeweb.org and types in "binomial distribution" into the basic search engine; she receives 3500 results. Far too many to cull through to find what she wants. Janet's background is in the physical sciences and statistics, not business and nursing, which is what her class is predominately composed. She then makes use of some of the advanced search features for narrowing her results. Since she has primarily nursing and business students, she checks these boxes to filter her search. She also wants an applet that students could use from their home computer. One of the top resources displays a link to a java applet that illustrates the binomial distribution along with exercises and lessons plans in easy to print PDF format. Additionally, Janet finds some real world examples that are explicitly related to both nursing and business. This project will be assessed by examining data on the use of the site (number or hits and number and type of searches performed). Additionally, evaluation by Science and Mathematics Program Improvement (SAMPI) will also be conducted. SAMPI is a center within the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University. This external assessment will focus on the quality of the service provided and the success it creates in the classroom. This will be done in part by an online feedback form. Additionally, the registration process to CAUSEweb will enable SAMPI to randomly select users for additional feedback via an online survey.
Online Slide-Shows for Elementary Algebra
During the Spring and Summer of 2000 I was given the opportunity, via a grant, to develop a web enhanced course for both Elementary Algebra 080 and Intermediate Algebra 085 classes. Students are able to print off class notes with detailed examples, as well as practice tests and answer keys. Then in the spring of 2001, I was given release time to take the web enhanced course to the next level: a fully operational online class. I am currently teaching an online Elementary Algebra class. I have been using Dreamweaver™, Freehand™, Flash™, Fireworks™, Winplot and other software as needed to develop the fully functional web site. With this software I was able to incorporate animation to enhance the students' learning experience.
With the help of additional release time, I hope to enhance the site even more to accommodate those with audio and visual learning styles. With the help of OIT, I plan to incorporate streaming video and audio onto the website and/or onto CD-ROMs. Techsmith has developed software to allow screen capture and allows one to create videos and add sound. I will be producing slide shows in 3 different formats (Real Player, QuickTime, Windows Media) in order to accommodate different platforms and slide show watching preferences. These slide shows will show examples for thirty-two sections spanning 5 chapters. Each section will contain from 3-10 examples. Students from all sections, not just my sections, will have access to these instructional slide shows. There were over fifty section of Elementary Algebra offered last year, with approximately 24 students per section.
Tutorial materials for the TI-83 graphing calculator competencies
Linda M. Clark
Development of an Online Elementary Algebra Class
Scott N. McDaniel
Creating Web-Based Developmental Mathematics Lesson Plans and Student Assignments
Marva S. Lucas
Lucas will be developing a series of lesson plans for each developmental mathematics course utilizing the Internet, as well as a series of Internet homework assignments for each course. She will explore the World Wide Web in search of sites that are relevant to topics taught in developmental mathematics and develop lesson plans based on these sites. One objective of her project is to offer a more flexible approach to instruction that caters to the individual needs of students.
Mathematics instruction should enable students to function in an environment that is technology centered. Utilizing Web assignments provides an opportunity for students to employ technology while mastering curriculum objectives. Specifically, the Internet can be used as a powerful tool by instructors in teaching mathematics. It can also be used to introduce students to an effective plan for studying and mastering mathematical concepts.
The Instructional Technologies Development Grant has allowed me the opportunity to develop a series of lesson plans for each developmental mathematics course utilizing the Internet, and to develop a series of Internet homework assignments for each developmental mathematics course. After this project is completed, all developmentalmathematics instructors will receive a copy of these plans and assignments. When teaching in a Master classroom, instructors will be able to integrate the use of particular Web sites into their lesson plans. For example, an interactive tutorial can be used when teaching students to solve quadratic equations using the quadratic formula. Students can also be given assignments to complete in the privacy of their homes or in a campus computer lab. Utilizing the Web in this manner promotes independent learning, enhances critical thinking skills, and provides opportunities to see practical applications of concepts taught in class. The completed product will be given to instructors to use and to evaluate in the Fall semester.
Enhancing the Utilization of Master Classrooms & Promoting the Use of Technology for Students of DS Mathematics
Nancy J. Brien McCormick
Nancy will be developing web sites and instructional materials to be used in master classrooms for Elementary Algebra (DSM 0080) and Intermediate Algebra (DSM 0085). These web sites will provide off-campus, after-hours access to instruction. The goal of this project is to provide students with an alternate tool to enhance understanding and to accommodate a hands-on learning style.
Computer technology and the World Wide Web provide students with an alternate tool to enhance understanding, to accommodate different learning styles, and to involve students in independent learning. It affords many students the convenience of "distance" learning, for help at times when they are not on campus and not in the classroom.
With the Instructional Technologies Development grant, I have developed instructional materials to be utilized by mathematics instructors when teaching in master classrooms, and by students as a resource for learning that can be accessed outside the classroom, and at any hour of the day. I have developed handouts that correspond with each section of the textbook, Elementary and Intermediate Algebra, Second Edition, by Bittinger/Ellenbogen/Johnson, that is currently taught in the two algebra courses, Elementary Algebra (DSM 0080) and Intermediate Algebra (DSM 0085). These handouts include the topics, examples, summaries of procedures, and related assignments of textbook exercises. Mathematics instructors can utilize these as part of their instructional materials and incorporate them into their lesson plans, as they wish. I am in the process of getting these materials on the Web (available at http://www.mtsu.edu/~nbrien/index.html), and will have the completed Web site to include all sections of DSM 0085 and DSM 0080 for the Fall 2000 semester. Faculty and students will have access to these materials on the Web for use in their classes. I will also have all materials on diskette for teachers to use in the master classrooms, and for students to use on the computers located in the Developmental Studies mathematics lab.
Utilization of the Internet for Notes and Practice Test for Developmental Studies Mathematics
Scott N. McDaniel
McDaniel will develop web-based notes and practice tests for students in Elementary Algebra 080 and Intermediate Algebra 085. The students will have access to the notes and practice problems, and will be able to take multiple choice and true/false tests over the internet. McDaniel will investigate MTSU online quiz generator and Microsoft FrontPage's Score.
Updating Elementary Algebra Presentations
Dawson will be updating presentation software for Elementary Algebra that she began work on in the summer of 1994. She plans on including animation in the presentations and eventually preparing them for use on the World Wide Web.
My work this summer involved 22 presentations using Hyperstudio. These presentations cover every topic taught in Developmental Studies Elementary Algebra. Seven of these presentations are new. The others have been edited for colorization, graphics and animation. Some were edited for easier opening with the current version of Hyperstudio. Others were edited, or copied card by card, to prevent a crash of unknown origin from occurring when they were opened.
This semester I am teaching four sections of Elementary Algebra. I have used one of the presentations every day except the first day of class when a pretest is given. All of these sections are taught in a Master Classroom.
I plan to share these presentations with anyone who wants to use them.
Computer Aided Animation: An Instructional Tool for Developmental Studies
Meredith Anne Higgs
Meredith developed a series of computer-aided animation sequences to supplement presentations in Developmental Studies Mathematics courses. These animations could help reduce students math and technology related anxiety by encouraging self-paced learning and presenting content in an entertaining and engaging manner.
This spring 1999 semester, I was supported by an Instructional Technology Grant. The grant allowed me a course-release time to study computer-aided animations using Director 6. The project proceeded as proposed, and the final product is not only exciting but also encouraging to others in my area.
PROJECT PROCEDURES AND METHODS
The project began with an email request to Developmental Studies faculty to submit topics for animations. Although the response rate was low, the submitted topics were incorporated into a list of freestanding concepts. Algebraic laws and exponents laws were chosen as the final topics. Welcome pages for two different web pages were are chosen as topics. An instructional guide for Director 6 was purchased and studied. Using the expertise of the Digital Media Center, fifteen short animation sequences were created to illustrate the chosen topics. These animation sequences are suitable for use individually as lead-ins for discussion of individual laws and can be viewed from disk as a player, on the Web as a Shockwave movie, or on video. These short sequences were strung together to make a few minute movie which was output to video. The two Web page introductions and the two movies (algebraic laws and exponent laws) were launched on the Web. Finally, players, which do not require Director 6 or plug-ins, were created for PC computers. CD-ROM's were burned of these players along with a READ-ME file.
The final phase of the project was evaluation and adjustment of the animations. Students in two of my Developmental Studies Algebra classes were asked to evaluate the animations using a Likert scale and free-response survey. Unfortunately, one class could not respond to the survey because the operating system in the Master Classroom could not support the required plug-in to view the Web Shockwave movies. Therefore, only one class completed the surveys (20 students). Students, in general, felt that the animations had educational value---rating the animations overall educational value as a 4.525 on a Likert scale from 1 (least) to 5 (highest). The students also had very useful comments including the following: I would add more background colors....It helps me a great deal to learn visually, so I really liked the · action demonstrated on commutative and distributive laws. It makes learning things easy to remember...I learn best by example-not just lectures-the Web shows (physically) · the steps rather than just telling me what to do. It was fun to watch. It makes learning the material more enjoyable...it incorporates a visual aid, something to keep the students' attention, while learning math. Where asked what they liked best about the animations, students' responses included my voice, humor, colors, and the convenience of Web-based materials. The most common suggestion was to add voice to the exponents movie. I acted upon this suggestion and added voice to the exponents movie before I made the video and burned the CD-ROM's.
A Review of Elementary Algebra Skills
Williams used HyperStudio to develop a three part tutorial review of the material necessary for success in Intermediate Algebra/DSM 0085 with accompanying review presentations for use by instructors in MTSU's master classrooms. The material included review and practice of basic algebra skills that are likely to be rusty (or non-existent) for DSM 0085 students.
My project, A Review of Elementary Algebra Skills, was designed as a set of three tutorials to quickly review three topics that are crucial to the success of students who are taking Intermediate Algebra, DSM 0085. I have completed the three tutorial HyperStudio stacks along with accompanying resource stacks. Namely, Factoring Review, Factoring Resources, Graphing Review, Graphing Resources, Solving Linear Equations, and Linear Fquation Resources. These are being placed this week on the 20+ computers in our math lab in a file labeled "085 Starter Kit." These stacks review concepts, present examples, and give practice problems. They also contain a self-test at the end. Each tutorial contains a link to the resource stack that tells the student how to access all other resources in the math lab on the subject. It also lists where to look in the textbook for that topic.
I plan to gather comments and suggestions from students and instructors this semester concerning the effectiveness of these materials. I will revise the stacks as needed to fit the needs of the students. I am making a presentation at the Tennessee Association of Developmental Education on this project, and if accepted, I am also presenting at the National Association of Developmental Education.
I also plan to condense these into presentations for use by our instructors as in-class reviews. This should be finished by October. I have in the past and will continue to offer any of my HyperStudio presentations to all of my colleagues for use with their students in or out of class.
I truly appreciate the support from the Office of Information Technology and the University. This grant is a very important impetus for promoting the use of technology in the classroom.
Tutorial for Exponents, Factoring, and Rational Expressions
Vivian R.M. Alley
Vivian developed tutorials on Hyperstudio for use in the Developmental Studies Math Lab in SAG 202. These tutorials will be used for certain topics in DSM 080/ Elementary Algebra such as exponents, factoring, and rational expressions.
Authoring Intermediate Algebra Presentations
Dawson used HyperStudio, Mathwriter, and CD-ROM segments to develop presentations to be used by Developmental Studies faculty in teaching Intermediate Algebra in the Developmental Studies master classrooms. During the summer of 1997, I used HyperStudio to author presentation software for use in Intermediate Algebra. I created about 20 different presentations incorporating much use of color, buttons, animation and other techniques available with HyperStudio. I am currently involved in trying to share these with my colleagues.
Developmental Studies Math 085, Intermediate Algebra, on Hypercard
Vivian R.M. Alley
Alley developed lesson plans for DSM 085, Intermediate Algebra, on HyperStudio, for use in Master Classrooms. By having these lessons in HyperStudio format, they can be utilized by other faculty members or even the students themselves.