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Building Success: How an Intersession Workshop Transformed Student Outcomes in Math

Pablo Bert & Paul Creason Long Beach City College
Strengthening Student Success Conference October 9, 2013

Math Winter Workshop
• A focus on student success in math during the winter session
– Winter Workshop for Math (Beg. and Int Algebra) – No credit – Incentives for completion were that you could move on to the next level of math (approved and official through our assessment and placement area – Dept. allowed completers to enter the next math level in the subsequent semester (Spring)

• Budget secured ($35,000) from the President of the College
– – – –

Four FT faculty paid hourly (selected by Dean and Dept. Head) Math Coordinator from Success Center Six tutors Aleks software (codes for 6 weeks $40)

• Facility – 160 station open computer lab with internet access (explorer, chrome or firefox)
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Math Winter Workshop
• Intersession workshop
– targeted to students who had previously failed to successfully complete Beginning Algebra (Math 110) or Intermediate Algebra (Math 130) – self-paced progression via mastery through sequenced skills – supported by “just in time” faculty-led miniworkshops as students began to cluster – outcomes assessed via traditional testing methods

• 370 students applied

– 243 were accepted and contacted. – 170 showed up first day (~10 arrived very late and were turned away) – 156 students actively involved after first week. – 141 actively involved week of midterm 3

Math Winter Workshop Model Using Aleks Software

• A workshop style course with beginning and intermediate students in one area, with an emphasis on working IN CLASS using Aleks • Aleks is a dynamic online system which is great for students with different baseline knowledge • Constantly assesses and verifies its findings • Very intuitive for students to use, takes about 30 minutes to learn • Setup is easy. Faculty choose topics to include and design objectives if applicable. • Has design creation tools and gradebook functionality • Provides great report/data information about usage and achievement of students
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Day to Day Schedule
• Students meet about 4 hours a day / 4 days a week • A student sits down with a clear objective in front of them • Mini-workshops conducted by faculty on topics that were important and based on student/group progress (selected each morning)

• 1 faculty member and tutors roaming the room • Problem of the hour conducted by all (to get students used to writing things down!) • Paper and pencil testing (midterm and final) • Mandatory test-like review sessions before the exams.

– Students attended if they wanted/needed – Faculty could monitor students and let them know that they should attend a workshop

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Baseline Comparison/Typical Outcomes: F2008 Students who did not successfully complete Beginning &Intermediate Algebra
80%
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 18% 57%

48%
37% 40% 23%

0%
Re-Attempt Course Success Rate, among students that attempt Cohort Rate of Completion within 4 years

Beginning Algebra (n=981)

Intermediate Algebra (n=524)
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Winter workshop success rates (n=141)
80% 70% 60% 11.3% 8.2%

50%
40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Beginning Algebra (n=80)
Successfully complete and advance

61.3%

65.6%

Intermediate Algebra (n=61)
Advance to second half of course .
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Direct comparison of F2008 Cohort vs. Winter 2013 Workshop results
F2008 Cohort Rates of Successful Completion within 4 years 80% 70% 60% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 61% 66% 11% 8%

Intersession Math Workshop Successful Completion Rate

50%
40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Beginning Algebra Intermediate Algebra (n=981) (n=524)

37%

40%

20%
10% 0%
Math 110 (n=80) . Math 130 (n=61)
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Success Rate, among students that attempt

Progression to and Success at Next Level of Students that Retake
F2008 Cohort
50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

Winter Workshop
45% 43%

33% 29%

33%
23%

13% 6%

Beginning Intermediate Algebra (n=471) Algebra (n=300) Immediately Progress Success Rate

Beginning Algebra (n=80) Immediately Progress

Intermediate Algebra (n=61) Success Rate
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Cohort Completion Rate in First Semester after Retake
F2008 Cohort
30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%
Beginning Intermediate Algebra (n=471) Algebra (n=300)

Winter Workshop
30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 15% 10%

4%

2%

5% 0%
Beginning Algebra (n=80) Intermediate Algebra (n=61)

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Does it work delivered as a course?
Success Rate (C or better) in SU2013
80% 70% 60% 60.9% 65.5% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 40.7% 50.1% Success Rate (C or better) in Beginning and Intermediate Algebra 2011-2013

50%
40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
Beginning Intermediate Algebra (n=80) Algebra (n=61)

20% 10% 0%
Beginning Algebra (n=10894) Intermediate Algebra (n=7920)

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Example Screen and Tracking in Aleks
• The Aleks Pie
– How it works – Faculty monitoring of work – Communication with students (electronically)

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How did students feel about the workshop format?
• 116 students completed survey about the elements of the workshop
– Survey questions developed by Math faculty – Survey delivered via SurveyGizmo shortly after the midterm

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Satisfaction with Aleks
Overall rating of usefulness of ALEKS software 1% 2% 4% Overall rating of whether ALEKS should be used in the future

0%

1% 3%

14%
29%

65%

83%
Definitely not Maybe/maybe not Definitely Probably not Probably
14

Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful

Slightly useful Useful

Free responses: What do you like about the ALEKS software? Please be specific.
Count

Structure of problem solving (e.g., “That it goes back and makes us re-do things we don’t understand.”) Examples, detail, and depth of material (e.g., The explanations it gives about how to solve the math problems.”) Personalized experience (e.g., I like how it explains how to do the problems and that you can go at your own pace.”) Step-by-step instructions Easy to use Multiple locations (e.g., “Its versatile, can be used at home.”) No professor

35

34
27 23 8 4 1

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Satisfaction with Faculty-led Mini-workshops
Overall rating of usefulness of faculty-led workshops 1% 5% 1% 5%
Overall rating of whether faculty led workshops should be used in the future

0%

1%

2%

16%
21%

67% 82%
N/A Slightly useful Useful Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful

Definitely not Maybe/Maybe not Definitely

Probably not Probably
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Free responses: What do you like about the faculty led workshops?
Count

Detailed explanations
Feels more personal; Like one-on-one interaction Working with a faculty member in person; being a classroom setting

47
19 17

Able to ask questions
Takes less time

15
1

17

Overall Rating of Workshop/Flipped Classroom Format
Overall rating of usefulness of Math Winter Workshop Overall rating of Winter Workshop compared to last math class

1%

0%
6%

1%

2%

4%

17% 46%

92%
Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Slightly useful Useful

31%

Math class much better. Math class was better. Both similarly beneficial. Winter Workshop was better. Winter Workshop was much better.

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Summary
• Students responded very positively to format
– 94% rated Aleks as useful or very useful – 88% rated faculty workshops as very useful or useful – 97% thought Aleks should definitely or probably be used in the future – 98% thought faculty workshops definitely or probably be used in future – 98% rated the entire workshop as useful or very useful – 77% rated the workshop as better or much better than their last math class
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The Nuts and Bolts
• Computer enhanced/driven worked well and the students liked it • Faculty were critical for student success (computer alone did not work) • The faculty team had an impact and really worked well together • Interest from the local unified school district
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Challenges
• Facility with 160 computers and breakout/workshop rooms adjacent • Faculty team had an impact (personalities worked well and they were willing to “wing it” and learn from one another) • Registration policies/processes and waitlists • Paper and pencil tests vs. computer tests • Funding/appropriation (no credit? Vs. FTES) • Advertising the method and not surprising students who enroll (what? This is a computer class! That is the only reason I am not doing well)
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What worked?
• Computer enhanced/driven; the system worked well and the students liked it • Students were motivated • Students were sequestered and only had one class to concentrate on; they WORKED in class • Intensive time period • Real time assistance from faculty/tutor (Now!) • Ability to monitor student progress
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Reflections
• Importance of involvement of department (faculty created) • Importance of tracking progress
– How do they do in traditional classes after the workshop model

• Importance of institutional support
– Culture of student success (support!) – Financial investment (minimal)
• Strategies include students paying for Aleks in lieu of a book – e-book and code option
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Built conversations and coalitions of innovation
• Accelerated courses • Grant project/collaboration with CSUN • Single semester beginning and intermediate algebra course (compressed 6 unit courses) • Development of Intermediate Algebra for non-math/science track • Dual enrollment with local unified school district
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Any questions?
• If you think of one later, we can be reached at:
– Pablo Bert: pbert@lbcc.edu – Paul Creason: pcreason@lbcc.edu

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Thank you!

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What do you NOT like about the ALEKS software? Again, please be specific.
Technical (e.g., “It does not work in all browsers.”) Count 17

Explanations (e.g., “Lacks the teaching for formulas in most explanations.”) Assessment (e.g., “I don’t like the random assessment tests that it makes you do once you finish a section of the pie.”)
Flags small mistakes (e.g., “I don’t like that it will mark you wrong when your answer is still right but maybe you forgot to switch the sign.”) Number of problems after a mistake Too many topics, feel rushed, too much work (e.g., “some topics are repeated after i had finished that topic, and too many objectives.”) Can't see all subjects/topics at once Different question after mistake Less instruction as you move on

16

12

10 9

9 7 3 1

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What do you NOT like about the faculty led workshops?
Count Too long Takes time away from ALEKS work Too rushed 14 10 5

Unclear explanations
Can't work at my own pace Too short Already knew the material covered in workshop More focus on ALEKS during workshop Prefer ALEKS

5
4 3 2 2 2

Haven't got to topic, so don't know if I should attend workshop
Need more workshops on 130 material Too crowded Wanted more help from teacher

1
1 1 1
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