Implementing Projects in Calculus on a Large Scale at the University of South Florida

By Fox, Gordon A.; Campbell, Scott et al. | Journal of STEM Education : Innovations and Research, July/September 2017 | Go to article overview

Implementing Projects in Calculus on a Large Scale at the University of South Florida


Fox, Gordon A., Campbell, Scott, Grinshpan, Arcadii, Xu, Xiaoying, Holcomb, John, Bénéteau, Catherine, Lewis, Jennifer E., Ramachandran, Kandethody, Journal of STEM Education : Innovations and Research


introduction

It is widely agreed upon that there ¡s a significant need to Increase the numbers of well-trained scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to meet the demands of an Increasingly technological workplace In the United States and around the world. In particular, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report (Olson & Rlordan, 2012) suggests that Increasing the percentage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates even by a relatively small percentage would have a big Impact.

Many colleges and universities have been working on retention In STEM using a variety of strategies. At the University of South Florida (USF), as part of an NSFfunded STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) grant, we decided to try a number of approaches focused on student success In calculus, which Is a gateway course with high failure rates. One approach In Engineering and Life Sciences Calculus I Involved using undergraduate peer leaders to facilitate students working In groups of 3 or 4 on highly structured guided Inquiry activities following the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) model, and building a successful approach previously Implemented In chemistry (Lewis & Lewis, 2005, 2008). The results of that Intervention and related data analysis are described In Bénéteau et al. (2016). Another approach was to replace the final exam In Engineering and Life Sciences Calculus II and Ill courses by a real-world project. This approach differs from what Is traditionally called project-based learning, PBL (Blumenfeld et al., 1991; Savery, 2015; Thomas, 2000). This term has sometimes been used Interchangeably with another PBL, problembased learning (Hmelo-SIlver, 2004; Savery, 2015; Tawfik, 2015). Both PBLs can be defined as learning models with an emphasis on creating high levels of motivation and cognitive skill development In students working on open and complex problems with facilitation (Mills & Treagust, 2003; Williams & Williams, 1994). There has been some overlap In the use of the terms problem and project In prior literature; however, there are subtle differences between the PBL approaches (Hmelo-SIlver, 2004; Mills & Treagust, 2003; Perrenet, Bouhuljs, & Smlts, 2000). Ultimately, project-based learning has been considered to be more readily applicable to engineering education at the post-secondary level (Mills & Treagust, 2003), but activities drawing from the two PBL approaches have been developed to promote deep understanding for 5th graders (Barron et al., 1998). Regarding effectiveness, meta-analyses have found that problem-based learning can foster positive student attitudes and Improve performance, especially In areas that are aligned to the Intervention (rather than on general tests) (Dochy, Segers, Van den Bossche, & Gljbels, 2003; Gljbels, Dochy, Van den Bossche, & Segers, 2005; Shin & Kim, 2013; Strobel & Van Barneveld, 2009). Project-based learning Is mostly reported In k-12 education (Boaler, 2002; Marx et al., 1994). Very few Implementations have been reported In college calculus courses (Milligan, 2007). In the studied setting, the project-option curriculum Is different than either PBL setting and Is unique In that the faculty do not modify lectures or classroom discussions, but simply replace an exam with a project that the student has to work on outside of class. More detail on how the projects are Implemented Is given below. One advantage of this approach Is the relative ease of Implementation, since faculty can continue to use the teaching techniques and strategies they are comfortable with.

The premises of this approach were that offering students the option of replacing their final exam with a project (hereafter referred to as the project option) could: (1) stimulate student engagement by allowing them to link calculus with their particular Interests; (2) Increase personal attention from faculty members (and project advisors If they were not faculty) that might lead to Increased student learning; (3) Incorporate an active approach to learning; (4) prepare students for later work In Industry by giving them practice with modeling; (5) enable contact with other professors or people In Industry, leading to Increased marketability. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Implementing Projects in Calculus on a Large Scale at the University of South Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.