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I'd like to hear more about the options for extending the time spent on pre-algebra and algebra courses.  I am of the opinion that this is a perfectly acceptable option for developmental math.  We once had a push from students on our campus to turn College Algebra into a two semester course and I don't approve of that idea. I think the problems the college algebra students were having were due to not having a strong foundation in developmental math.  I've often wondered about options for giving students more time to thoroughly grasp the developmental math.  Of course it would have to be done in a way that allowed them to maintain mastery over the concepts over a long period of time, too.

Kathryn Van Wagoner
Utah Valley University
Math Lab Manager
801-863-8411
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>>> "Susan Jones" <[log in to unmask]> 1/9/2009 10:57 AM >>>
I find that many students don't n eed math sped up - but *can* learn it if it is slowed down.  (Not all, of course, but a significant number.)  

Rather than repeat the course at the fast pace and hope the second time it sticks, we have options for stretching out our pre-algebra and algebra over 2 (or 3) semesters.   Granted, some students don't have time to do this, but many students do if it's addressed early enough. (The argument as to whether or not they should spend that much time on math is an entirely different discussion and is going to vary from one institution to the next.)  

Susan Jones
Academic Development Specialist
Center for Academic Success 
Parkland College
Champaign, IL  61821
217-353-2056
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>>> "Panitz, Theodore" <[log in to unmask]> 1/9/2009 10:56 AM >>>
Hi All,

    We tried using modules for a basic math course and an elementary algebra course at cape Cod Community College several years ago with the hope (expectation) that students would accelerate their progress or complete the course series over time if they needed extra time. Students could repeat a module if they did not pass, since modules were offered continuously every semester. 

     Our results were exactly the opposite. Students would take one or two modules and then not complete the required number of three for each course. Part of the reason we surmised was that many students leave after one or two semesters so they cannot complete the modules. Others decide that they do not want to make the effort, since they find math hard. We have many support mechanisms here, such as a math learning center, individual tutoring, on line tutoring, plus a number of special programs. These did not seem to help our module students which is consistent with our in regular 3 credit course students. We have a pretty high attrition rate at the developmental level.

Regards,
ted


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