The University of Alabama
How would you assess the transferability of the re-design approach you employed to new subject areas or disciplines?
Our experience has convinced us that the format would successfully support instruction in a variety of courses. The format is well suited for more quantitative disciplines such as mathematics, statistics or accounting. It also has applicability to instruction in computer-science courses. The math department is investigating use of the facility for other, higher-level math courses and several other disciplines have visited the facility to evaluate the use of the approach in their teaching.
December 2001 Update: A continued goal of the re-design effort is to expand the use of computer-assisted instruction to all precalculus mathematics courses and to some courses at the calculus level and above. In fall 2001 the Department of Mathematics pilot tested use of the MTLC in four sections of Precalculus Algebra, a large-enrollment (2,100 students per year) course for engineering, science, and business majors. Two of these sections were taught entirely in the lab and the other two sections had one traditional class meeting per week with two hours of supplemental instruction in the MTLC. For spring 2002 one-half of the students enrolled in Precalculus Algebra will be taught in the MTLC and the other one-half will take the course in a traditional formal. We will also be piloting two sections of Finite Mathematics in the MTLC during the spring 2002 semester. Finite Mathematics is a lower-level course that fulfills the State of Alabama's core mathematics requirement.
How are you disseminating the re-design among your colleagues?
The course redesign effort has received a good deal of media attention at both the local and statewide level. The effort has been presented to the University Council of Assistant and Associate Deans, and we have provided tours of the MTLC facility to groups from Mississippi State University, Stillman College and Texas Wesleyan University.
We also ran a four-day workshop on the use of computer-aided instruction in elementary mathematics for high school teachers from West Alabama. This workshop, which was run in the MTLC, was designed to familiarize high school teachers with use of the Prentice-Hall software in their elementary algebra courses. As part of the project we provided four local schools with multiple copies of the software for use in their courses.
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