Several research projects are conducted in the mathematics department as part of the Active Learning Initiative.
We have been looking at the effect of introducing active learning in the calculus courses. To this end, we have taken pre-post measures readiness for calculus and attitudes toward mathematics.We have also conducted systematic classroom observations with the COPUS protocol.
We have looked at the use of learning objectives by the students and the instructors. The goal was to determine whether and how students use learning objectives. We also wanted to test how one can encourage students to use learning objectives when studying. Finally, we have documented how learning objectives can be used in large multi-section course as a tool to coordinate the different sections and make sure students receive a similar instruction.
Using measures of readiness for calculus, attitudes toward mathematics and demographic data, we have developed a model to identify early on students who are at risk of struggling in calculus.
In the Calculus for Life and Social Sciences course we have looked at the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students. The goal is to determine how we could reduce (or even completely erase) this gap.