Update from TPSE on the Teaching Methodologies priority


TPSE Math is working with Ithaka on this priority. A $2.46 million, two-year grant to Ithaka S+R from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will, in the words of TPSE Math Executive Director and project co-lead Brit Kirwan, “allow us to both encourage the further development of digital learning platforms to improve outcomes in entry-level math courses and help us develop multiple pathways for quantitative literacy that ensure that all students, not just STEM majors, have entry-level math courses relevant for their intended majors and future careers.”


I’d like to learn of peer reviewed studies comparing the effectiveness of three kinds of on-line teaching: (1) fully on line (but with effective security for exams; (2 hybrid (presentation of material on line possibly, interleaved with face-to-face discussions); (3) lecture format with supplementary materials posted on-line.

What little I have seen suggests that
format (1) has the largest drop-out rate and shows least success by those who complete and then take a second course for which the first is a pre-requisite.
Format (2) is much more successful than (1) and almost as successful as conventional lecture format.

Employers are beginning to ask students to develop so-called “soft skills” like respectful inter-personal interactions, effective communication, and team-work. I wonder how purely on-line courses can contribute to these “soft skills”. Listening to many of my entry-level students in workshops and on-campus suggests to me that they cannot ask a clear question to clarify an assigned task, they cannot explain the reasons for their choice to mathematical methods, and they have few adjectives or adverbs in their spoken language except for “four-letter-words”.


Here are some links, courtesy of Ithaka S+R: