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Geoff,
I have taught Intermediate algebra for the past 5 years, over 20 sections, and have had similar results...I don't have specific numbers with me.  One of my colleagues and I suggested that we separate these students destined to fail from the rest of the class and have them take a special section where they will not pass that semester, but will be taught all of the necessary basics to at least have a chance at being successful the following semester.  We thought that if we could take one section of the regular course at 9:00 for example and turn it into a basics course we could just move some students and keep the same number of sections being taught.

We have a new director this year, so our suggestion hasn't been implemented or, as I think about it discussed with the new director.  I agree with you that something needs to be done to help our students become successful math students!

Lisa

Lisa Christman
Instructor of Mathematics
University College
University of Central Arkansas
501-450-3311
>>> [log in to unmask] 06/23/06 10:55 AM >>>
Judy,

I teach math at a community college, and a large proportion of our math 
courses are developmental math, so I, too, would appreciate your sharing any 
insights you find.

One of our high runner developmental courses is "Intermediate Algebra" - a 
course I have taught 6 times over the last three years.  In looking back at 
my data for these 6 courses, I have found that students' results on the 
first exam are a good indicator of their chances for success in the 
remainder of the course.  The first exam occurs during Week 4 or 5 (in a 16 
week semester) and covers Chapter 1 of the textbook (Dugopolski, 
Intermediate Algebra).  The subject matter includes a review of arithmetic, 
order of operations, properties of real numbers and algebraic expressions. 
Sometimes the first exam also includes the first section of Chapter 2, where 
students learn how to solve algebraic equations.

This course is a pass/fail course.  I have found that students who fail 
(that is, score below 70) on the first exam have only a 5% chance of 
completing the course successfully.  Students who score above 70 have much 
better chances (those who score 70-79 are still unlikely to pass, but their 
chance of success is still considerably higher than 5%).

Based on these data (which only cover the sections of the course I have 
taught), we have decided to offer a standardized Exam 1 and collect similar 
data for the rest of the instructors.  If the results are similar, it 
suggests we do something different during the first four weeks to make sure 
all students have the foundation needed to pass Exam 1 and have a chance of 
passing the course.  It also suggests that students who do not pass Exam 1 
may not be well served by continuing in the course.  For example, perhaps 
they need some additional review of the basics covered during the first four 
weeks.

If anyone has any similar data or experience, I would appreciate your 
sharing it.

Thanks,
Geoff Krader
Mathematics Instructor
Morton College
Cicero, IL

>From: "Luther, Judy" <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals              
><[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Math Intervention
>Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2006 15:00:06 -0400
>
>Hello:
>
>We're currently in the process of redesigning the curriculum for our
>developmental math class, and we want to embed intervention strategies
>within the course.  If anyone has any course designs or tutoring/lab
>intervention ideas to share, I would appreciate your assistance.
>
>Thank you!
>
>Judy
>
>*******************************************************
>Judy H. Luther
>Director of Student Achievement and Retention
>Spalding University
>851 S. 4th Street
>Louisville, KY  40203-2188
>(502) 585-9911 ext. 2217
>[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>
>May I never miss a rainbow or a sunset because I am looking down.
>Author Unknown
>
>
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