Math Dept meeting
August 16, 2013
1510--1605
M-702
Present: Wardlaw, Boyes, Noffsinger, Davidson, Stemmann, Thoo, Papin (by phone)
Minutes
=======
1) In response to an email message that Thoo had sent on Aug 13, 2013, regarding the development of the Fall 2014 schedule [1], Davidson brought forward a motion that we reflect upon and evaluate the recent practice of developing the class schedule two semesters in advance. This practice was tried once last year for the first time, developing the schedule for Spring 2014 at the end of Fall 2013 (using the English finals day to accomplish this).
The difference in time for developing the Fall 2014 schedule at the end of Fall 2013 (new way) versus the beginning of Spring 2014 (old way) would be less than two months.
We agreed to take up this topic at the next dept mtng, deciding then if we would continue with the new way, making use of the English finals day, or return to the old way, finding a time to meet within the first couple of weeks of a semester.
2) Stemmann suggested that we consider alternatives to Martin-Gay for Math 50 and 52 because the price of MyMathLab has increased again. Apparently, the current price of MML alone is about $90+, and the price of the textbook and MML bundle is about $110+. Everyone agreed that looking around would be a good idea.
Thoo reminded everyone that he had sent an email message to all the YC and WCC f-t instructors about this [2], and that only Chetra and Kovacs has responded to indicate that they are interested in participating in a search, paying particular attention to the suitability for the online classes. Now Stemmann has agreed to contact Chetra and Kovacs to coordinate a search. After they have identified suitable products, the rest of us will help to review them as well.
3) Wardlaw will administer the AMATYC SML Contest again this year.
4) The rest of the meeting was spent discussing SLOs. Boyes has agreed to take the lead for the dept. In addition, Papin is on the College SLO committee and has much experience to lend. Thoo said that the rest of the semester will be spent on SLOs.
Currently, the dept has adopted two Institutional SLOs (computation and critical thinking) for its Program SLOs, and at most two Course SLOs per course. Boyes and Papin suggested that we adopt SLOs more specific to the Mathematics and Statistics Program as Program SLOs that would sit in between the Institutional SLOs and the various Course SLOs. In an earlier email message [3], Boyes informed us that Papin had suggested the following for Program SLOs.
1. Perform operations on mathematical objects (e.g. numbers, expressions, functions, matrices).
2. Solve equations and inequalities.
3. Graph equations, functions, inequalities.
4. Solve applied problems using mathematical and statistical methods.
5. Prove identities and theorems.
Papin mentioned that the point of SLOs is to be able to measure student learning and to decide how we may improve student learning. Institutionally, we need to show how we are improving outcomes, and if we do not do this ourselves, then we should be prepared for it to be imposed upon us. After a lengthy discussion of SLOs, the purpose, implementation, assessment, the dangers of watering down courses, &c., it was decided that
A) we would adopt a set of Program SLOs. Boyes will send out something for our consideration and ask for a response by Friday, August 23.
B) we would develop SLOs for Math 52 that better reflect the entire course and that tie into the Program SLOs at our next mtng. These would not be instituted before Spring 2014. (Thoo said that he would like the SLOs for Math 111, 50, and 52 to be developed before the other courses if possible.)
C) we would consider adding a few SLOs to measure the "health" of the Mathematics and Statistics Program. Davidson said that such SLOs could be used to justify requests for funding. Davidson suggested tracking student success or completion rates. Thoo suggested sending a survey to instructors of courses that have mathematics prerequisites that ask if they feel that their students had a sufficient mathematics or statistics preparation. We agreed to think of other possibilities.
** Copies of email messages referenced **
[1] On Aug 13, 2013, at 6:12 AM, John B. Thoo wrote:
Hi, everyone.
The English finals day this semester is Wednesday, December 4. Therefore, please set aside
Wednesday, December 4, at 1000
to meet in the Syda Room to develop the Fall 2014 schedule of classes. Thank you.
---John.
[2] On Jun 29, 2013, at 2:55 PM, John B. Thoo wrote:
Hi, everyone.
I feel that we were caught off guard last time when Matin-Gay was about to roll to a new edition. Because we were not prepared, I feel that there was not enough time for us to evaluate viable alternatives, especially vis-a-vis the online classes. Consequently, I feel that we settled on the next edition of Martin-Gay chiefly because of MyMathLab.
Not wanting to be caught off guard again, I am proposing that we begin a search for viable alternatives to Martin-Gay beginning this fall, which I hope is well before Martin-Gay is due for another edition. I would like someone who uses MyMathLab a lot to lead the search, with others helping of course. Among the alternatives, I would like a good look to be taken at xyztextbooks; I believe that their online tools have matured vastly in the last few years, and that their textbook price to quality ratio is low. (Yes, this is coming from someone who does not use any online tools now. Not much credibility, I know.) I understand that we may very well end up continuing with Martin-Gay, but at least we would be satisfied that we had considered the alternatives.
Please think about leading a search for viable alternatives to Martin-Gay if you use MyMathLab a lot. I'll be asking in the fall. Thanks.
Now please return to your summer pleasure.
---John.
[3] On Aug 13, 2013, at 7:18 AM, Kathryn Vaughan wrote:
Hello Everyone,
Along with talking about specific SLO changes, I would also like to talk about changing the program SLO's to be more specific to our program. Mike has some great suggestions about what to change them to. Here are his ideas:
1. Perform operations on mathematical objects (e.g. numbers, expressions, functions, matrices).
2. Solve equations and inequalities.
3. Graph equations, functions, inequalities.
4. Solve applied problems using mathematical and statistical methods.
5. Prove identities and theorems.
Matt sent me all the information about how Woodland assesses their SLO's. I will bring that information with ideas to the meeting Friday. I agree with John that we need to find a different more informative way to assess our SLO's and as well as add more SLO's to courses. This would allow us to be able to reflect on the information and make changes to improve teaching and learning more effectively.
Hope the first week is going well with you all!
Katie