Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's Happening? (part 1 of 2)

While my blogging has been slow to non-existant, the world of developmental math and reform has not.  Here's a look at current goings-on and more about my projects.

1.  After the Boston AMATYC conference, I assumed the role of chair of the Developmental Math Committee for AMATYC.  I'm really excited about this opportunity to work with faculty around the country on a subject so important.  We have a new website with a Google groups discussion board.  Anyone can look at either and is free to join one or both.  We have several projects underway such as a position paper project on the role of intermediate algebra, a webinar series in the design phase, the New Life project, and a commitment to building a redesign resource bank.  Check us out at:

It's not perfect or extensive yet but it will improve and grow throughout this year.  As I mention on the site, I welcome additions so feel free to send me something for it.  I'll add it and credit you.

2.  My work with other colleges continues.  This blog has several resource documents that I provide to schools embarking on redesign of their developmental courses.  I recently gave a webinar on our redesign that was similar to the talk I gave at AMATYC in November.  Click here for a link to info about my session.  That link will soon be updated with a recording of the talk.  The PowerPoints are available at the left called  Best Practices:  Lessons Learned on the Road to Redesign. 

Additionally, I work with schools on a one-on-one basis to assist them getting started in redesign or answer their questions along the way.  It's not that our school cornered the market or "fixed" developmental math.  But we worked our way through our program, looking at every facet, and fixing what was broken.  Our model is an example of what Hunter Boylan describes in his book What Works: Research-Based Best Practices in Developmental Education.  It's not necessarily fast or glamorous but it is effective if you're looking to improve the traditional developmental path.  It also serves as an example of improvement that doesn't rely on having all students working self paced in a lab setting.  Those models exist and are effective for some but not all schools have the resources or interest in pursuing them.

Some schools want something altogether different than making the traditional courses work better.  If that's you, check back for part 2 of this update which will chronicle the new course being developed Mathematical Literacy for College Students.

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