Thursday, March 31, 2011

New manual

I've posted our updated Rock Valley College Developmental Math Manual (2011) at the left under Documents.  It includes information and the flowchart that incorporates the new course, MLCS. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The realities of bringing New Life to life

We're knee deep in implementation mode of the new Mathematical Literacy for College Students (MLCS) course at my school.  And it's a lot of work to say the least.  This course is sort of a square peg in a round hole so there are challenges.  Still, we keep forging ahead because the rewards are already becoming apparent.  Students are finding out about the course and I'm hearing their excitement.  I've had students say, "I've always wanted to understand math.  I just don't get it the way it's usually taught."  The abstraction matters but our traditional approach has too much abstraction and too little concrete for some developmental learners.  And the little we have that's contextual is pretty contrived and "textbook."  The traditional approach can work, but for some, it's not enough.

So I'm buoyed by their reaction.  That's what is keeping me going as writing continues as well as fielding all the questions from other areas on campus and other implementation issues.

Initially, I had planned to spend this semester working with other disciplines to find out who can accept this as a prerequisite "or equivalent."  That's a bigger task than originally anticipated so I'm putting it on hold until this fall when there is more time.  Right now, we're focusing on advertising, good advising, and changing the programming requirements in the system to allow students to register for the course.

My hope is that once we and others have started to create this new path at our schools, we'll be able to help others make their process easier.  And from what I've seen during the redesign process we experienced and now working with others on their redesigns, I believe that to be a realistic goal. 

So we keep on keeping on.