Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)
Students completing development math courses at LMC will demonstrate:
1. Problem-solving abilities: Students will use mathematical reasoning to solve problems and a generalized problem solving process to work word problems.
2. Mathematical versatility: Students will use verbal, graphical, numerical, and symbolic representations of mathematical ideas to solve problems.
3. Communication skills: Students will read, write, listen to, and speak mathematics with understanding.
4. Preparation: Students will recognize and apply math concepts in a variety of relevant settings and demonstrate the math skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in subsequent courses.
5. Effective Learning Attributes: Students will demonstrate the characteristics of an effective learner.
PSLO Assessment Report Summary
Our assessment research focused on PSLOs 1, 2 and 3: problem-solving ability, mathematical versatility and mathematical communication skills. We analyzed common final exam questions from the capstone course Intermediate Algebra (Math 30) and an entry level course, Prealgebra (Math 12). Each final exam was assessed holistically relative to each outcome using a rubric written by math faculty. For each outcome we conducted a benchmarking exercise in which each instructor graded two sample papers. In both courses, a majority of students were proficient in all PSLOs.
The math professors who participated in the assessment made the following recommendations for improvement:
For communication, it was recommended that instructors should to better model how to interpret solutions in context and provide complete explanations. As a result of this need, the teaching community (for all developmental math instructors) included sessions how to model interpreting solutions, share with students examples of proficient and excellent student solutions, and facilitate a class discussion to show students what a proficient solution looks like.
For problem solving, it was recommended instructors should focus more on the problem solving process. As a result, the teaching community (for all developmental math instructors) focused on problem solving and use of Polya’s problem solving process in the classroom. The problem solving topics included how to provide explicit guidelines for students, how to present the problem solving process, share proficient student work as examples of appropriate use of the problem solving process, and how to create a problem solving rubric in class with student participation, and teach students to use the rubric to self-evaluate their own performance.