Paper No. 125-9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM

ENHANCING QUANTITATIVE SKILLS TO IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS IN HISTORICAL GEOLOGY AT WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY USING THE MATH YOU NEED, WHEN YOU NEED IT (TMYN)


BUSCH, Richard M., Department of Geology & Astronomy, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA 19383, rbusch@wcupa.edu
Historical Geology (ESS 204) at West Chester University of PA fulfills a science requirement for three majors and a general education (writing emphasis) requirement for students of any major. Unfortunately, many students taking the course do not have the mathematical skills they require to complete quantitative parts of laboratory investigations. Thus, modules of The Math You Need When You Need it (TMYN) program were introduced as 5% of the course grade during Fall-2012 and Spring-2013. Results indicate that TMYN improves students’ quantitative skills in the math they need. The average pre-test score for all students was 66%, but the average score on the same test given after students completed all modules was 84% (an increase of 18 points). Students’ willingness to complete quantitative parts of laboratory assignments, and their average scores on quantitative laboratory assignments, also improved from pre-TMYN to TMYN semesters.

Of all 59 students taking the class in Fall-2012 and Spring-2013, 42% took it as a requirement for the BS Geoscience degree, 27% were non-majors who took it to satisfy the general education requirement, 19% took it as a requirement for the BS in Education in Middle Grades Preparation (MGP) degree, and 12% took it as a requirement for the BS in Education in Earth & Space Science (BSEd) degree. From pre-test to post-test, the Geoscience majors increased their average scores from 69% to 83%. Non-majors increased their average scores from 72% to 90%. MGP majors increased their average scores from 64% to 84%. BSEd majors increased their scores from 43% to 69%.Therefore students in all majors populations benefited from TMYN. BSEd majors had the biggest gain in ability (26%) but the lowest average post-test score (69%). Geoscience majors had the smallest average gain in ability (14%), and only the third-highest average post-test score (83%). Non-majors showed significant average gain in ability (18%) and had the highest average post-test score (90%).