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We have done that with English - developed fewer-credit modules which
fill in the gaps.  We're exploring that kind of option in Math. 

One thing we did this semester that was extremely successful was to
have a somewhat self-paced version of the 4-credit Pre-Algebra course. 
Many people in it were repeaters who had really struggled and others
were "almost-made-it" students.  By making it self-paced, there was an
almost tangible transition of goals from assignment completion to
assingment comprehension.  As a result, some students finished the two
credits in mid-semester.  None are trying to complete the course until
next semester, though, because each of them has a reason to need or want
a reduction in workload.  The pass rate looks like it's going to be 17
out of 20 of the original enrollees, with a goodly dose of A's and B's.


Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Academic Development Center
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
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Webmastress,
http://www.resourceroom.net

>>> Geoffrey Krader <[log in to unmask]> 10/27/06 1:51 PM >>>
I am hoping that I could tap your collective experience to help us with
a 
program we are planning to trial in January.

At Morton College, there are two developmental algebra courses
(Elementary 
and Intermediate Algebra).  Each course is a semester in length. 
Students 
may place into either course (or a lower level Basic Mathematics
course).  
Students enrolled in Elementary Algebra who do not pass that course
must 
retake the entire course and complete it successfully before enrolling
in 
the Intermediate course.  That delays their entry into Intermediate
Algebra 
-- and college-level math -- by an entire semester.

For students who did very poorly in Elementary Algebra, retaking the
course 
seems to be the appropriate course of action.  However, we believe that
some 
students -- those who came "close" to passing -- might succeed in 
Intermediate Algebra if they could take a short remedial course between

semesters to address the deficiencies that prevented them from passing
the 
course in the first place.  If they pass the intersession course, they
would 
be able to enroll in Intermediate Algebra during the following semester
as 
if they had passed Elementary Algebra in the first place. The
intersession 
course would be by invitation only (i.e., instructors would identify 
students who might benefit from this course).  Depending on the number
of 
students (we are a relatively small community college), the topics
covered 
might even be tailored to specific students' needs rather than follow a

rigid syllabus.

We are planning to run this course for the first time during the first
half 
of January, before the start of the Spring semester.  We would run the

course again during the first half of August, before the start of the
fall 
semester.  I was wondering if any of you have experience with similar
ideas, 
comments on this idea, or other ideas that address the same set of
issues.  
If you do, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks,
Geoff Krader
Mathematics Instructor
Morton College
Cicero, IL 60804

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