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Friday, December 2, 2016

AMATYC Keynote Connects to Pathways

Maria Andersen gave a terrific keynote address at AMATYC's conference this year. The video is available below. Her talk starts at the 44 minute mark.

The presentation resonated with me because the suggestions she gave are what we aim for in pathways courses like Math Lit. She talked about how we need to have real interaction in our classes, that we learn from experience, not just lecture, and how challenge and curiosity matter. She talked about the importance of varied practice, a key component of the content development in Math Lit, which is different from the mass practice concept used so commonly. That explanations are useful when students need them, after they've been working on something and there is confusion. And that students being stuck sometimes is important. All of her assertions are backed by research.

Her style is engaging and her message is timely and meaningful. Please take a look.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

AMATYC Presentation Slides

Here is our presentation from today's AMATYC talk. After the slides are direct links to the articles shown in case any hyperlinks in the slides do not load correctly.

Articles referenced are as follows. Each includes data and information regarding pathways.

CCCSE report

California Acceleration Project report

Colorado Developmental Math report

Florida Developmental Math report

Montana Math Pathways report

New Mexico Math Pathways report

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Going to AMATYC?

Heather and I will be presenting next week at the AMATYC conference in Denver. We will be talking about where pathways are 5 years after their inception. We'll give our latest data, national updates, and many lessons we've learned through teaching the course for 5 years. We'd love to see you there!

Math Lit and Pathways: Five Years Later
Thursday November 17
10:20 - 11:10 am

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What's new?

Long time no blog! I've finally dug out of all the Math Lit 2nd edition items and got my classes to a good place for the fall. I've been doing lots of new things that I'll be blogging about. Using the second edition has been a lot of fun and has opened up the possibility of teaching the course online (which is going outstanding). I'll be blogging about the face-to-face and online versions and how those are going.

One big addition is a new Math Lit forum. There is a link above or to the right. To join, please request permission to join and tell me a little about yourself. I'll approve membership requests of faculty using or planning to use Math Lit to teach their math literacy course. Once approved, you can talk with other users about things that have been working for you, questions you have, and more. I'm excited to have this option to interact with other instructors of math literacy. Sharing ideas can benefit everyone.

In the upcoming weeks and months, I'll blogging on the following topics. I'll also add to the Math Lit forum.
  • Teaching Math Lit online
  • Using Learning Catalytics in course
  • How is the second edition of Math Lit different
  • Testing options
  • Focus problems

and more!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ready-to-go Course ID Available for MML Homework Use (no text homework)

I've made an additional RTG course if you want to use MML only for homework and not the book in addition to MML. I took the other RTG course I made (see yesterday's blog post for more info) and added in the text homework Skills problems and text homework Concepts and Applications problems that are available. Not all of the C&Apps problems from the text are available but there are some of those problems in MML for every section. I'm thinking of making the ones that aren't in MML now as free response custom questions for my fall online Math Lit class. If that pans out and works well, I'll provide the course ID after the fall semester for those who want to copy that course.

The text Skills problems in the book are meant to test students on the MML problems without the use of help aids. To achieve this while still in MML, I removed Help Me Solve This and View an Example from each of the text Skills problems. You can add them back easily if you want.

To allow students to review for the test only inside of MML, I took the existing Cycle Wrap-Ups and added some Concepts and Applications problems (at least one from each section of the cycle). The vocabulary component is not included, so you may want to have students use the Wrap-Up in the book at the end of each cycle along with the MML assignment.

MML Only (No Book homework) RTG Course ID:  almy53543

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ready-to-go Course ID Available for MML + Book Homework Use

Since a ready-to-go (RTG) course is not available for the book, I've created one by copying each sample homework and quiz within the course. They only need to be assigned to be used. To see the assignments, choose the Assignment Manager within the Course Tools tab.

The approach I took with this course is that of the way homework was used with the first edition: students start with skill-based exercises in MML and then finish their homework by doing all of the book homework problems for a section.

Each homework assignment in the RTG course has a selection of MML only problems for the section. We worked to make each sample assignment a reasonable length and not have any too long or too short. MML only problems are not in the printed book homework. They contain skill-based exercises for the section. With this approach to homework, students need to do the book homework after the MML homework so that they can work on the concepts and applications component of the section.

The RTG course has this construction for each cycle:

  • Homework for each section in the first half of the cycle with MML only problems
  • Mid-cycle quiz with one MML only problem and one Concepts & Applications problem for each section in the first half
  • Homework for each section in the second half of the cycle with MML only problems
  • Cycle Wrap-Up homework with MML only problems from the entire cycle to accompany the 5 step test review wrap-up in the book

Additionally, a prerequisite quiz (Getting Ready for Math Lit) is included to open the course.

I have not customized the tabs in the left navigation bar. The default is the book homework answers are hidden, but you can reveal that tab for students if you like. You can hide any tabs you don't want to use, organize tabs together, and add additional tabs if desired.

Please use any, all, or none of the homeworks and quizzes. Customize them to work for your needs. For most sections, there are additional MML only problems to choose if you want more practice. If you feel you do not have enough problems, consider adding testbank problems (available on 8/17/16) and/or adding problems from other texts. There are additional problems available in the Getting Ready for Math Lit appendix that can be used for prerequisite topics.

Also, you may want to copy the sample tests to provide students a practice test for studying purposes, even if you give paper tests in class.

MML + Book homework RTG Course ID:  almy04103

I'm also working on a RTG course that does not rely on book homework. It's taking me a little longer to do, so that course ID will be posted on this blog tomorrow.

Monday, August 1, 2016

MyMathLab for Math Lit 2e Now Available! (updated)

The MyMathLab (MML) course for the 2nd edition of Math Lit is now available. There are many improvements and additions to the first editions MML course.

Homework/quiz/test creation

  • More MML problems to choose from including some Concepts and Applications problems from the book homework for each book section (see Tip below)
  • Each section name includes its topic for ease of selecting problems when creating homeworks/quizzes/tests
  • Problems are clearly labeled for ease of use
    • MML only (for exercises that are only in MML and not in the book)
    • TextSkills (first two skill exercises of each book homework)
    • TextC&Apps (concepts and applications problems in the book)
  • Sample tests available for instructors who want to test online or have practice tests online
  • A Getting Ready for Math Lit appendix to provide additional prerequisite content questions above the included Getting Ready prereq quiz
8/3 Update:

An improved TestGen testbank was created for this edition of the text. You can download it from this page. Choose the Resources tab and scroll down. Although it says it's not available yet, it is there and available for download.

The testbank questions are also going to be converted to MML questions and will be available in the MML assignment manager as additional testbank questions on 8/17/16. For those wanting even more problems to use, this should help a lot.

Student resources
  • ebook has many more videos to support students (and all videos in the text were made for Math Lit)
  • Answers to book homework only available in MML so that you can choose to reveal or hide them
  • Updated Excel appendix with additional functions included
Instructor resources
  • Printable homework masters if you want to collect book homework but don't want to disrupt the next section's pages
  • All new instructor videos to support training needs
  • Focus problem packages (problem, solution, template, rubric) with 3 problem options per cycle as follows:
    • Focus problem in the second edition
    • Focus problem from the first edition
    • One new focus problem per cycle
  • A new Instructor's Resource Manual** (available in Word and PDF formats for ease of editing items)
  • A new Instructor's Solution Manual
  • PowerPoints available for each section
You can use Learning Catalytics with the text now, but only the standard set of questions are available. We are having questions specific to Math Lit that will be included in the near future. I will update the blog with that info as I have it.

*The Instructor's Resource Manual is being completed and will be available in MML at the end of this week.

A ready-to-go course option is not available for this edition. Because it's so close to the fall semester and some instructors were counting on a ready-to-go course, I will be creating some ready-to-go versions this week. By the end of the day Wednesday of this week, I'll post course IDs that you can copy if you like of two different kinds of ready-to-go courses. One will be with the traditional use of homework (MML + book) and the other will be MML only. I'm teaching a face-to-face version of the course and an online one this fall. These types of MML courses can support each type of offering.

Tip:  If you would like to have all the Concepts and Applications problems from the homework in your MML course, you can create custom questions for the ones that aren't in MML and make the questions static and free response that you hand grade. Some questions aren't suited to being algorithmically regenerated. This option allows you to have all the problems from the text but in an online format, something that would support online course offerings more easily.