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Los Medanos College

 

 

Transfer Math Program

 

2011-12

 

Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

 

Students completing transfer-level math courses at LMC will demonstrate:

 

1. Preparation and Mathematical Maturity: Be prepared for the mathematical or statistical reasoning required in upper division work in their major, including the ability to generalize mathematical concepts and comprehend increasing levels of mathematical abstraction.

 

2. Mathematical Literacy:

Communicate using mathematics:

a. Read with comprehension documents having mathematical content and participate cogently in discussions involving mathematics;

b. Clearly articulate mathematical information accurately and effectively, using a form, structure and style that suit the purpose (including written and face-to-face presentation).

 

3. Problem-solving ability:

a. Reason with and apply mathematical concepts, principles and methods to solve problems or analyze scenarios in real-world contexts relevant to their major;

b. Use technology effectively to analyze situations and solve problems;

c. Estimate and check answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness, identify alternatives, and select optimal results.

 

4. Modeling ability:

a. Construct and interpret mathematical models using numerical, graphical, symbolic and verbal representations with the help of technology where appropriate in order to draw conclusions or make predictions;

b. Recognize and describe the limits of mathematical and statistical methods.

 

5. Effective Learning skills:

a. Independently acquire further mathematical knowledge without guidance, take responsibility for their own learning, determine appropriateness and correctness of their own work and function effectively in different learning environments.

b. Succeed in different learning environments, particularly in a group setting of working collaboratively with others.


PSLO Assessment Report Summary

 

Our assessment research focused on PSLO 3: Problem-solving ability. We analyzed student work on common final exam questions in Statistics (Math 34), Calclulus I (Math 50), and Linear Algebra (Math 75).  In Statistics, a majority of students were not proficient.  In Calculus I and Linear Algebra, a majority of students were proficient or better.

 

The 11 math professors who participated in the Statistics assessment made the following recommendations for improving proficiency numbers in the problem-solving PSLO:

 

  1. Incorporate more opportunities within the course for students to practice exploratory data analysis, including more work on interpreting graphs, seeing connections between graphical representations, and understanding standard deviation.

  2. A follow-up assessment of student work on the common in future semesters.

  3. The college could fund the Math Department to offer statistics retreats for faculty to focus on the teaching and learning of introductory statistics with a focus on exploratory data analysis and statistical literacy.

The overall recommendation for improved student learning is that increased course-focused teaching communities are needed and to be fostered and supported by the college, through grants, and initiatives that foster increased student learning and transfer to 4-year institutions.