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Math 120: Intermeidate Algebra Fall 2011 Discipline Assessment Analysis Form Directions: For each course SLO undergoing assessment, collect the Transfer/Basic Skills Assessment forms for Individual Course Sections. Convene a department meeting (and/or communicate with department members) to summarize and discuss the SLO assessment results/analyses for all sections DEPARTMENT Meeting Date (if applicable) And/or Alternative Means of Communication Number of Faculty/Staff Participating (# fulltime, # adjunct, and total) Number of Faculty Sharing Assessment Results Mathematics Wednesday, November 9, 4:15 pm. Faculty can participate in person or via CCCConfer. Full time: David Arnold, Erin Wall, Garrett Kenehan, Mike Haley Adjunct: Amber Buntin, Brad Morin, Chris Panza, Jon Pace, Michelle Moreno, Ward Nickle Fulltime: 4 Associate: 6 Number of sections of Math 120 assessed: 11 Number of Course Sections Assessed Course SLO or Degree SLO Measured --Identify Course(s) and Degree-- ASSESSMENT TOOLS Describe assessment tool/ assignments faculty/staff used to measure the SLO. SLO #1 was measured (Evaluate and interpret general functions symbolically, numerically, and graphically. Identify the domain and range using interval notation.) Math 120 --- Intermediate Algebra Assessment took place in Fall 2011 There were 5 questions: Question #1: Given a function f(x)=3x-4, students were asked to evaluate f(-8). Question #2: Given a function g(x)=5-x, students were asked to evaluate g(a+2). Question #3a: Given the graph of f, student were asked to use the graph to evauate f(2). Question #3b: Given the graph of f, students were asked to solve f(x)=1 for x. Question #4: Given a graph of f, students were asked to describe the domain of f using interval notation. Question #5: Given the graph of f, students were asked to describe the range of f using interval notation. Faculty were asked to mark each question as completely correct or completely wrong. In other words, only the correct answer was accepted. Hence, if the correct answer for the range in question #5 was [-3,inf) and a student answered (3,inf), then they were marked wrong. ASSESSMENT RESULTS (Summarize the overall results of your department, including performance data if applicable.) In what areas was student performance outstanding? Scores on the assessment. These are the combined scores of all sections. Question 1: 87% correct Question 2: 55% correct Question 3a: 81% correct Question 3b: 66% correct Question 4: 73% correct Question 5: 47% correct Students excelled in evaluating a function at a particular number. They also did well in evaluating a function by reading its graph. In what areas should student performance be improved? Students need more practice in evaluating functions at algebraic expressions (Question #2). Also, students need to be able to read a graph to solve an equation such as f(x)=1 for x (Question 3b). More time needs to be spent reading a graph to describe the domain and range using interval notation. In particular, knowing when to include an endpoint with a bracket, such as [3,inf), versus not including it with the notation (-3,inf). Instructors agreed that their scores would be a bit higher on questions #4 and #5 if more examples of this type were asked on quizzes and discussed often enough in class. Describe unaddressed student needs or issues that the assessment revealed. NEXT STEP(S) TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING How will your department address the needs and issues that were revealed by your assessment? What are your collective plans and strategies for improving student learning? Check all that apply. Our discussions were pretty thorough over the course of 2-3 meetings throughout the semester, so we addressed all needs and issues. □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Seek out or design faculty development activities on teaching and assessment Consult teaching and learning experts about teaching and assessment methods Encourage faculty to share activities that foster improved student learning Write collaborative grants to fund departmental projects to improve teaching Purchase articles/books on teaching/assessment. Create bibliography of resource material Visit classrooms to provide feedback (mentoring) Share rubrics and assessment results among all discipline faculty Analyze/revise course curriculum and/or SLOs Analyze department curriculum to strengthen the coherence of the program or the progression of skills from course to course Nothing; assessments indicate no improvements necessary Other (please describe): Additional Explanation: Could not check items digitally, so included as follows: 1. Encourage faculty to share activities that foster improved student learning. Priorities to Improve Student Learning List the TOP 3 TO 6 actions/changes faculty judge will most improve student learning. What the group found most valuable at our meeting is expressed in some of the individual comments submitted by participating instructors. Comment 1: “This SLO quiz taught me what concepts I may need to emphasize more in class. I think it was very useful to the students, and I, in preparation for exams. Instead of just seeing concepts once in lecture, once in homework, and then on the exam, these students got feedback and were given the opportunity to understand the concept better. I think that although some of the categories had very low percentages, that doesn't necessarily mean that the students don't know anything about the concept. For instance, many of my students forgot to include a hard bracket on the last question about domain/range. Now I think there is something to be said about students, say, leaving a question blank and getting it wrong vs. messing up on one aspect of a problem. I think this should be taken into consideration for future SLO quizzes. I think it may be worth it to come up with an agreement to test these concepts tested in the SLO quizzes each semester, be included as final exam questions and see if there is improvement from the initial assessment. One or two questions on a final exam, from people who opt in, doesn't seem like it would be too much of a burden. Another thing is that I do not think that we should give problems on the SLO quizzes that contain the most common student mistakes. Of course it maybe hard to avoid, but little things like distributing a negative is one thing that lowered my average for a problem. I like that the students take a quiz more seriously than hw and pay more attention to fix problems they have when they receive the feedback. We got some very valuable feedback and the results started some good debates/discussion about what these quizzes can be useful for.” Comment 2: “I found the quiz results valuable for the perspective they gave me. Other instructor's results showed the level of understanding that students can attain. It gives me a higher goal to strive for instead of just saying ‘My class scores is about all I can expect from my students.’ I would be even more motivated by knowing the highest level achieved by any class -- for each question.” Comment 3: “The thing that stands out to me is that students seem to struggle more than I would expect from the visualization, that is, the graph, of a function. They more quickly understand the algorithm of evaluating and solving functions for given values. I think a lot of students have a disconnect between functions and their graphs; more specifically, they don't see what the graph represents with regard to the function. Not sure how to address this or how vital it is that they really make the connection. That's my two cents.” Comment 4: “My students didn't score as well as I would have liked on evaluating a function at an expression. At first I thought most of this was due to the choice of expression (involving a negative) which students often have trouble doing correctly. However, when I gave them their next exam too many students still didn't properly execute this type of problem, at a slightly more difficult level involving quadratics. What was clear is that they aren't properly reading the function notation when an expression is being inputted. I have just completed a review of the various function evaluation problems as well as solving problems that are posed with function notation. I am having quiz over this Monday 10/31 to see if the issue has been resolved. I plan on continuing to emphasize this type of problem throughout the rest of the semester as we cover the various functions. My students also had some trouble with the domain and range problems. More with the range then the domain. With domain problem students had some trouble with the proper use of ( or ]. When it came to the range however they not only had trouble with the ending notation on the interval notation but, what it ‘’ctually" is. I have been emphasizing domain and range since. I assessed this again on their Week 6 Optimath quiz with quadratics. Now almost 70% are doing this correctly. When it comes to functions I think it would be helpful to evaluate this SLO not only early on, so that interventions can be made but, on the final or very late in the semester. We cover functions throughout the semester and I think student's knowledge of functions evolves as they study the various functions. By assessing later as well, we will see if the totality of their experience culminates with them developing the level of understanding we feel they need to be successful in their future course work.” Comment 5: “My statement was that the process of looking at the types of wrong answers proved very useful. For example, on the range from the graph question, the most common wrong answer was to have an open interval. So, I wonder if the students are thinking that there has to be a filled-in "dot" on the graph to mean closed interval. Feedback like this is very helpful to me to understand how the students are thinking about the material.” Comment 6: “SLO Quiz #1 provided me with two important insights into how I can improve the introduction of functions in Math 120. First, the empirical results of the quiz showed me that initially, the students struggled with obtaining information from the graph of a function. Specifically, given an output can they find the input and can they find the range. This is useful information for future classes. Second, the discussion by the instructors teaching Math 120 about their class results, and overall collective results, made me consider alternative approaches to introducing functions. Perhaps more time spent on the specifics of functions at an early stage may benefit the students’ conceptual grasp of this important mathematical concept.” Comment 7: “My students got off to a very slow start but are starting to catch up - which brings me to the SLO quiz #1. It seems as though whatever class our Math 120 students took previously, whether it was Math 380 or something else somewhere else, they are not coming in prepared. I am also noticing that students tend to do okay with following procedures but have quite a bit of difficulty when it comes to logical thinking, much more so than 2-3 years ago. I am not sure what to attribute that to. The one question on the quiz that the majority of students had difficulty with was the one that required a little bit deeper thinking.” Comment 8: “I think it is a good idea to have this assessment early in the semester, since it quickly directs the instructor to a couple difficulties that students are having. For example, the first two questions are about evaluating a function at a given value, and I thought that my students really understood the notation here. Since grading this assessment, I have attempted to be deliberate about writing the notation on the board in order to show students how to use it. I think that if students were to take this same quiz now, the responses would demonstrate that students had obtained mastery here.” IMPLEMENTATION Describe the departmental plans to implement these priorities. TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION Provide a timeline for After discussing the results of the SLO quiz given to the Math 120 students, instructors decided as a group that we would reassess via a similar quiz. The feeling was that now that instructors were aware of deficiencies and had participated in discussions for improvement, they now wanted to reassess and compare results of the second assessment with the first. David Arnold wrote a second quiz, sent it to all instructors for feedback, then all Math 120 instructors administered the second assessment, then reported their results to David. A second meeting of instructors was convened to discuss the results of the reassessment. We implemented our reassessment plans immediately. Scores on the first assessment are repeated below. These are the combined scores of all sections. implementation of your top priorities. Question 1: 87% correct Question 2: 55% correct Question 3a: 81% correct Question 3b: 66% correct Question 4: 73% correct Question 5: 47% correct Scores on the reassessment. These are the combined scores of all sections. Question 1: 88% correct Question 2: 69% correct Question 3a: 59% correct Question 3b: 50% correct Question 4: 75% correct Question 5: 48% correct Although there was slight improvement on some questions, others saw their score decrease. Note, that these scores are for the entire group. On the other hand, some instructors saw significant improvement in their individual class scores. At this point, instructors began to discuss the value of the assessment process. Discussion began to turn towards the value of the immediate feedback to students and instructors, and the value of the discussions for improvement that were sparked by the results of the assessment. Many instructors both shared and experienced ideas from other instructors on how to improve students’ grasp of the SLO assessment questions administered. Agreement was reached to share both the SLO quiz questions and results with Math 120 instructors in the Spring 2012, and offer discussion of what they found valuable in the discussion process. This was done at the first course meeting of Math 120 instructors on January 12, 2012. On hearing of the previous semester’s meetings and discussions, current instructors opted to give an SLO quiz this Spring 2012 semester and hold meetings to discuss and analyze results, even though Math 120 is not assigned to give an assessment according to the department’s 5-year plan. REASSESSMENT When do you plan to reassess this SLO? This particular SLO will not be reassessed until the Fall of 2016. In the meantime, a number of other SLO’s will be assessed according to the department’s 5-year plan.