Metrics for Success

What does success look like (for TPSEMath Teaching Strategies & Practices) and how would we know it had been achieved?

Messy first thought: Students engaging Mathematical Sciences courses (both required and elective) and leaving courses feeling more connected to and curious about Mathematics.

I think success will have been achieved in this area if people lecturing in Math class is regarded as an unusual and somewhat exotic activity, sorta the way that some instructors view pedagogical innovations like inquiry-based learning, classroom voting and group assessments now.

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Exactly! We will have succeeded when the default meaning for “I just taught my Calc class” means that it was an interactive, engaging session focused on concepts, not just rote computation.

One step will be when the prevalent view shifts from student as deficient to student as resource, when the student’s experience is treated as a building block and not as an empty lot (or worse, a defective foundation) to be filled or fixed.

Some success will be achieved when students arrive to math class excited about the learning experience and leave the course having grown with, actively participated in, and contributed to the experience.

Ever the pragmatist, and a statistician, I can think of some metrics for success that include:
-Student persistence in mathematics curricula (when our teaching practice is welcoming)
-More tested materials available on-line at little or no cost (to encourage teachers to experiment, and to promote spending more time with students and less re-developing materials)
-More visits between institutions with a focus on teaching and learning; less formal and more student centered than the traditional program review.

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This isn’t exactly on topic, but it was part of the conversation during the conference call on this topic so…

On Uri’s idea of creating a “Top Ten Things Every College Teacher Should Be Doing In Class.” I took the liberty of creating a space where we might start fleshing out these ideas

Spreadsheet for collecting the brainstormed ideas

Document for starting to work on a plan to move forward ($50k conference/convening grant? workshop at AIM?)

I don’t know if I’m capturing the grain-size that Uri had in mind, but here’s the first six I came up with off the top of my head:

Structured Recall
Soliciting and Using Student Reasoning
Gathering Formative Feedback
Teaching Growth Mindset
Students Working Collaboratively
Examples Before Theory

I know that while we were talking, the wheels were turning inside your heads with ideas of what might be on Uri’s Top Ten list. Please take a minute before you head off for break to jot down an idea or two.



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I do agree that “success” within the classroom should be from the students’ perspective as opposed to the instructors’; i.e., “Students did/felt/learned X” rather than “Instructor did Y”.