Friday, April 20, 2012

A Flowchart using MLCS

To help understand how MLCS can be incorporated into a developmental math program, I've included a picture of our flowchart below.  We are using the course to provide an accelerated way to statistics or liberal arts math for non-STEM majors.  Because of the requirements of Illinois, ours is a 6 credit course.  Many states are doing a 4 credit version because they may different requirements.  One of the many perks of this course is its flexibility.  Heather and I worked to create materials that would support a variety of implementations of this course.

If a student takes MLCS at our school and decides to head the STEM route or finds out his/her program requires something like college algebra, we have them take intermediate algebra next.  That is our current bridge to STEM.  In our version of MLCS, we have quite a few intermediate algebra topics but the development is conceptual, numeric, graphic, and applied.  The focus is not on procedures.  A traditional intermediate algebra class will give the student the procedural base they need to be successful in a college algebra or precalculus course.

Ultimately, I would like to have a bridge course that picks up where MLCS leaves off and continues the work using this integrated, interactive approach while developing the needed procedural fluency to be successful in STEM courses.  Likewise, I would like a replacement for prealgebra that develops strong number sense and computational fluency.

The benefit to the approach we've taken with our redesign is that it gives everyone options, both faculty and students.  We all learn differently and our goals are not the same.  Providing options respects the differences we have and allows students to be more successful faster since their needs are being met.

For more information on our redesign and the module courses listed in the flowchart, click here for a packet.  Our geometry course is not included in the flowchart below since that requirement is specific to Illinois.  It is mentioned and explained in the packet.

Clicking on the flowchart opens it in a window with a larger version of the graphic for easier reading.

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