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Getting them to do it: Motivational need for developmental students. Michael P. Giannetto Math/Science Tutoring Coordinator Adjunct Professor of Statistics Colorado State University – Pueblo . Why are developmental students developmental students?. Belief that they cannot do it

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getting them to do it motivational need for developmental students

Getting them to do it: Motivational need for developmental students

Michael P. Giannetto

Math/Science Tutoring Coordinator

Adjunct Professor of Statistics

Colorado State University – Pueblo

why are developmental students developmental students
Why are developmental students developmental students?
  • Belief that they cannot do it
  • “ I can’t do it, because (insert excuse).”
    • When you say you can’t do something, your nervous system shuts down and you are unable to access the resources that are immediately available to you (Wayne Dyer)
what does developmental education mean
What does developmental education mean?
  • Postsecondary remedial education
  • Basic skills education
  • Compensatory education
  • Preparatory education
  • “Learning lower-level skills that you’ve previously not mastered so that you can pursue higher-level skills. “
is there a difference between developmental and non developmental education
Is there a difference between developmental and non-developmental education?
  • Isn’t all education developmental since you’re developing yourself?
what do we want our students to do when they are no longer students
What do we want our students to do when they are no longer students?
  • Independent and critical thinkers
    • 45% of students had “no significant improvement in learning” during first 2 years of college.
    • 36% of students had “no significant improvement in learning” over 4 years of college.
    • Students who did show improvement showed only modest gains. A student who entered college in the 50th percentile would move up to the 68th percentile four years later – but that’s the 68th percentile of a new group of freshman who haven’t experienced any college learning.

Arum, Richard and JosipaRoksa. Academically adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses

drifting through college without a clear sense of purpose is readily apparent
“Drifting through college without a clear sense of purpose is readily apparent.”
  • Main culprit: Lack of rigor
    • Students who study by themselves more hours gain more knowledge while those who spend more time studying in peer groups see diminishing gains.
    • Classes with high expectations (more than 40 pages of reading per week and more than 20 pages of writing) gained more.
    • Liberal arts fields see “significantly higher gains.” More of a reflection of more demanding reading and writing assignments instead of the content of the material.

Arum, Richard and JosipaRoksa. Academically adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses

what is motivation
What is motivation?
  • Internal state or condition that activates behavior and gives it direction
  • Desire or want that energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior
  • Influence of needs and desires on the intensity and direction of behavior
  • “Internalized feeling of being successful at meaningful tasks.”

Kleninginna, P., Jr., & KleinginnA. Motivation and Emotion, 5 , 263 - 291

what do people need in order to learn
What do people need in order to learn?
  • Time on task
  • Resources
  • Positive Experiences

Dr. Wayne Dyer Power of Intention & Excuses Begone

why do math students struggle
Why do math students struggle?
  • Lack of Initiative
  • Lack of Perseverance
  • Lack of Retention
  • Aversion to Word Problems
  • Eagerness for the formula

Dan Meyer: Math Class Needs a Makeover (TED Talk 2010)

how can we help them
How can we help them?
  • Use multimedia
  • Encourage student intuition
  • Ask the shortest question possible
  • Let the students build the problem
  • Be less helpful

Dan Meyer: Math Class Needs a Makeover (TED Talk 2010)

how do we do this
How do we do this?
  • “Don’t soften the blow; Embrace it.”
    • Conditions that make performance improve rapidly during instruction can fail to support long-term retention and transfer, where as conditions that introduce difficulties for learners and appear to slow the learning process often enhance long-term retention and transfer.

Pashler, McDaniel, Rohrer and BjorkLearning Styles Concepts and Evidence

active teaching and learning are difficult enterprises
“Active teaching and learning are difficult enterprises.”
  • Allow them time to do it
  • Give them feedback and instruction on how to write out the steps to solve the problem
  • Ensure that they are the one moving the pencil (Nolting)
  • Get them to see things differently
what have i done
What have I done?
  • Adopted pedagogy from supplemental instruction
    • Think-Pair-Share strategy during this presentation
    • Informal quiz
  • Work with students with the lowest math placement and build their skills to the point where they can successfully complete their math requirements
math 156 introduction to statistics
MATH 156: Introduction to Statistics
  • SI Pedagogy: Informal Quiz
    • Graph this line: y = 3x – 6

This is something that students are expected to have mastered and need to have mastered in order to understand regression.

More than half of my students cannot do this

So, let’s spend some time on it

framework for working with students with the lowest math placement
Framework for working with students with the lowest math placement.
  • In-take assessment
  • Cover skills in a one-on-one session
    • Review previous worksheet
    • Present material
    • Student works through different types of examples
    • Sent home with a worksheet to practice on their own
  • Post-assessments for review
  • Take ACCUPALCER placement test
skills covered
Skills covered
  • Basic operations
  • Scientific notation
  • Fractions
  • Solving linear & quadratic equations
  • Factoring
  • Radicals
  • Rational expressions
  • Graphing
  • Word problems
profile of a student at the lowest placement level
Profile of a student at the lowest placement level
  • Student who has not done any math in a number of years
  • Student who has never successfully completed an algebra course
psychological profile of a student at the lowest level
Psychological profile of a student at the lowest level.
  • Anchored negative experience or many experiences with math
  • Frame of mind where they believe that they cannot do math
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
what s my approach in working with students at the lowest level
What’s my approach in working with students at the lowest level?
  • Sit next to them and wait for them to work through the problem
  • Provide feedback on how they are writing out their solutions
  • Calibrate to their pace and give them a problem that they can reasonably attempt
  • Continue to operate as if they are going to be successful
  • Nurture their curiosities about math
what have been the results
What have been the results?
  • 93 students have had contact with the program
  • 24 students have completed the program (26%)
  • Median Scores of Graduates:
    • 1st Attempt: 34
    • 2nd Attempt: 67
  • Students often place into Math 099
  • 8 Students have placed into college-level (33%)
  • All but one graduate has completed subsequent math courses in which they were enrolled
references
References
  • Arum, Richard and JosipaRoksa. Academically adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. 2011.
  • Dyer, Wayne Ph.D. Power of Intention & Excuses Begone. 2010.
  • Kleninginna, P., Jr., & KleinginnA. Motivation and Emotion. 1981.
  • Meyer, Dan. Math Class Needs a Makover. TED Talk. 2010.
  • Pashler, Harold et al. Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. 2009.