Document 12364541

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
Meeting Date (if applicable)
And/or Alternative Means of
Number of Faculty/Staff
(# fulltime, # adjunct, and total)
Number of Faculty Sharing
Assessment Results
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
Course SLO or Degree SLO
--Identify Course(s) and Degree--
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.
(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.
How will your department
address the needs and issues
that were revealed by your
What are your collective plans
and strategies for improving
student learning?
Check all that
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
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
List the TOP 3 TO 6
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
Describe the departmental plans
to implement these priorities.
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
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
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.
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.