Course Redesign Increases Learning Options

September 04, 2012

In looking at ways to improve student success, the college’s Math Department has redesigned some of its developmental math courses. The redesign culminated in the need for a designated math laboratory classroom. The remodeled classroom space on the second floor of the Administration Building was completed in time for the fall 2011 semester.

Course Redesign Increases Learning Options

The course redesign is intended to help students whose test scores require them to take developmental math, allowing them to take SCC’s first developmental course, Math 096, in a self-paced format. The new lab classroom accommodates this, so students can work independently and the instructor is able to work with students one-on-one and answer individual questions.

“This model enables students to progress more quickly through material that is review for them,” said Joe Howe, professor of math.

The physical space of the classroom is divided into two parts. Two-thirds of the room is a computer lab and one-third is a lecture space.

“Students can come at times in addition to their own class in order to complete assignments and get extra help from instructors,” Howe said. “Students also have the option to complete the course early.”

Cheryl Eichenseer, associate professor of math and MAT 096 coordinator, explained that it’s good for students to have options to meet their learning style.

“Students still have the option of the lecture format if that fits their learning style, and now they have the lab format if that is their preference,” Eichenseer said.

According to Chris Breitmeyer, vice president for academic and student affairs, the individualized format can be helpful to students who get frustrated in the traditional lecture classroom. “Working on their own takes away the anxiety they might feel about asking questions during a lecture,” he said.

Breitmeyer said the lab format is another way to address low success rates in math, helping students to pass developmental math courses and continue on to take their other courses.

This story was published in SCC's 2011-12 Annual Report.

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