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"The Peer-Led Team Learning Model: Engaging Students in Mathematics and Science" ...

"The Peer-Led Team Learning Model: Engaging Students in Mathematics and Science"

by Janet Liou-Mark, AE Dreyfuss, Laura Yuen Lau, Mursheda Ahmed, Amelise Bonhomme, Juan Meija, Beili Wang, Karmen Yu, and Yi Ming Yu, New York City College of Technology

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- 1. The Peer-Led Team Learning Model: Engaging Students in Mathematics and SciencePRESENTERS:Janet Liou-Mark, AE Dreyfuss, Laura Yuen-LauPEER LEADERS:Mursheda Ahmed, Amelise Bonhomme, Juan Meija, Beili Wang, Karmen Yu, and Yi Ming YuNEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGYCITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK Supplemental Instruction Mini Conference Lehman College October 7, 2011
- 2. What is peer-led team learning?The PLTL Workshop model engages teams of six to eight students in learning sciences, mathematics and other undergraduate disciplines guided by a peer leader.Funded by NSF DUE from 1991 – 2005.Honored with the 2008 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry (by NESACS) to David Gosser, Jack Kampmeier, and Pratibha Varma-Nelson.Currently a core leadership team and a loose affiliation of faculty from 80+ institutions who have adopted (and adapted) the model, spanning all the STEM disciplines and beyond in courses from the freshman to senior level.
- 3. Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL)Peer : A more experienced undergraduate studentwho has recently completed the course with a goodgrade.Led: Refers to leadership. A leader is a guide toLed:others. Goes through extensive training to assume thisrole.Team:Team: A group of 6-8 people who work together to 6-achieve a common goal.Learning:Learning: The goal of the team is to learn subjectmaterial.
- 4. PLTL Workshop Modelprovides an active learning experience forstudentscreates a leadership role for undergraduatesengages faculty in a creative new dimension ofinstruction
- 5. The Critical Components of Successful PLTL WorkshopsThe "critical components" are a set ofbenchmarks that have been arrived at throughthe project evaluation (NSF, 1995-2000). 1995-
- 6. 1. Workshops are an integral part of the course The workshop is a regular course component which all students are expected to attend. Each group meets on a weekly basis under the guidance of an assigned leader. Problems presented are tied to the course schedule so that the necessary background has been discussed in lecture. This component is one place where PLTL and SI models diverge: - SI focuses on courses where there is a high risk of failure (high withdrawal and failure rates), and SI sessions are not mandatory for students taking such a course
- 7. 2. The faculty are closely involved The Faculty are responsible for ensuring that the workshop modules are closely coordinated with course goals. Faculty meet with peer leaders and model ways to manage interpersonal dynamics within a team.This component is also where PLTL and SI diverge:- SI leaders may meet with faculty to discuss class test results and learning strategies- SI leaders have support from learning specialists connected with the campus tutoring program or SI program.
- 8. 3. The peer leaders are trained The faculty and learning specialists need to be closely involved in training the peer leaders. Peer leaders learn to be guides or facilitators, and not lecturers. Peer Leaders are instructed in some learning theory and teaching strategies that engage students in group discussion.This component is where PLTL and SI converge:- SI leaders are trained in effective learning strategies for the course content, collaborative learning techniques and group dynamics
- 9. 4. The Workshop modules are challenging Each workshop session is built around a set of problems and activities. - The modules are designed and structured by the faculty member. - They focus on a central idea and help students attain their course goal. The peer leader must work to actively engage the students with the materials and with each other.This component is where PLTL and SI diverge:- SI sessions focus on the course content and the faculty’s teaching methodology. Pedagogy is central to the SI model.
- 10. 5. Organizational arrangements are optimized Time and space are major issues - Workshop sessions require a space conducive to small group discussion. Workshops must be scheduled in advance. The Workshop model recommends: - a two-hour workshop, held once a week with 6 - 8 students. two- - attendance be required. This component is where PLTL and SI converge: - SI sessions are scheduled for specific times and locations. Group size is intended to accommodate all students in a section of a course. - Attendance is open to all students enrolled but is voluntary.
- 11. 6. There is institutional support The PLTL Workshop approach can be successfully institutionalized when: - the administrators understand that its goals coincide with the larger goals of the college and the department, - the administration recognizes and rewards innovative and effective teaching, and - logistical and financial support are provided as well.This component is where PLTL and SI diverge:- SI as an organized, internationally-recognized program with its own training and certification process is usually part of the academic support system on campus.
- 12. Sample WorkshopKineticsDiscussion
- 13. What is a Peer Leader?A student (peer) who recently took the course and did well (Aor B grade)Selected for academic skills: An expert studentSelected for personal skills (Interviewed): Interactive, communicative, supportive, positive, responsiveRespects and understands othersNOT an answer-giver --- NOT an authority answer-Is compensated in dollars or credit or other means
- 14. Why is Leader Training a Critical Component? The Workshop Project’s summative evaluation identified leader training as one of the critical components. Without leader training, workshop leaders tend to default to what they have been trained to observe - recitation and lecture.
- 15. What? No Answer Key?Working without a net is like the real world and likethe exam too!Believing in oneself as a real problem solver Learning how to construct answers How to evaluate different answers How to test for ambiguity How to test for completeness
- 16. Peer- Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) Workshops at City TechWorkshops in MathematicsMAT 1180: Mathematical Concepts and ApplicationsMAT 1175: Fundamentals of MathematicsMAT 1275: College Algebra & TrigonometryMAT 1375: PrecalculusMAT 1475: Calculus IMAT 1575: Calculus IIMAT 2675: Calculus IIIWorkshops in ScienceCHEM 1110: General Chemistry ICHEM 1210: General Chemistry IICHEM 2223: Organic Chemistry ICHEM 2323: Organic Chemistry IIPHYS 1433: Physics 1.2BIO 1101: Biology IBIO 2311: Human Anatomy and Physiology
- 17. Academic Inventory Module (AIM) for Success in MathematicsParticipants First-year students enrolled in a first credit-bearing mathematics course, Fundamentals of Mathematics (MAT 1175) during the 2009 -2010 academic year. Cohort 1 consisted of 22 (from a total of 27) self-selected students who enrolled in the AIM for Success in Mathematics program Cohort 2 was a MAT 1175 class with a PLTL workshop component integrated in the course where 23 of the 33 students were freshmen taking the course for the first time. Of the total 45 participants, 40% (18) were the first in their families to attend college and 73.3% (33) were from underrepresented minority groups. The comparison group consisted of 20 first-year undergraduate students enrolled in a learning community with 75% (15) of the students from underrepresented minority groups.
- 18. Grades of PAL Workshop Attendees, PAL Workshop Embedded in Course and Comparison Group 2009-2010 2009- Cohort 1 Cohort 2 Comparison (PAL Workshop (PAL Workshop Grade Group Attendees) Integrated in Course) (n=20) (n=22) (n=23) ABC 77.3% (17) 91.3% (21) 45.0% (9) ABCD 86.4% (19) 95.7% (22) 65.0% (13) F 9.1% (2) 0.0% (0) 20.0% (4)Withdraws 4.5% (1) 4.3% (1) 15.0% (3)
- 19. Departmental Final Exam GradesThe mean grade on the departmental final exam for Cohort2 (M=75.0,SD=16.7) was higher than the comparison group (M=49.9, SD=19.8). Theresults from an independent sample’s t-test showed that there was a t-statistically significant difference [t(35)=4.158, p =.000] between the two [t =.000]groups, indicating that the treatment of having PAL workshops helpedstudents improve their departmental final exam score.To investigate if PAL workshops, given as a separate component of class oras an integral part of class, impact students’ final grades, an independentsample’s t-test was conducted. The average final grade was lower for t-Cohort 1 (M=2.38, SD=1.3) compared with Cohort 2 (M=2.77, SD=1.0). Thedifference in average final grade was not statistically significant [t(43)=1.125, [tp =.267] for the two groups, showing that workshops, whether embedded in =.267]a class or not, in this case did not make a distinction on the final grade forthe course.
- 20. Mathematics Self-Efficacy, Task Value, and Goal Orientation Pre- and Post-Survey ResultsA paired sample’s t-test showed statistically significant differences after the intervention in the following areas: I am certain I can understand the ideas taught in the mathematics course [t(43)=2.764, p =.008] I expect to do very well in the mathematics class [t(43)=1.829, p =.074] I am sure I can do an excellent job on the problems and tasks assigned in the mathematics class [t(43)=1.902, p =.064] I enjoy it when others are aware of how well I am doing [t(41)=1.853, p =.071] I would not avoid taking on a new task if there was a chance that I would appear rather incompetent to others [t(40)=2.284, p =.028]
- 21. Means and Standard Deviations for Responses on the MAT 1175 PAL Workshops Mean (StandardStatements (n=43) Deviation) 1 (strongly disagree) – 5 (strongly agree)The workshops are closely related to the material taught in the lectures. 4.46 (.59)Workshops help me do better on tests. 4.47 (.67)Interacting with the workshop leader increases my understanding. 4.33 (.75)The workshop materials are helpful in preparing for exams. 4.33 (.65)I believe that the workshops are improving my grade. 4.44 (.59)Interacting with the other group members increases my 4.26 (.76)understanding.I would recommend workshop courses to other students. 4.49 (.63)In the workshops I am comfortable asking questions when I do not 4.51 (.60)understand something.In the workshops I enjoyed interacting with the other students. 4.67 (.48)The workshop experience led me to join formal or informal study 3.67 (.99)groups related to other courses.
- 22. Note:The PLTL Workshop Project, and its publications weresupported from 1991-2005 by grants from the National 1991-Science Foundations Division of Undergraduate EducationThis presentation was made possible through the NSF STEPGrant #0622493, MAA Tensor Foundation Women andMathematics Grant, CUNY’s Improving UndergraduateLearning Outcomes in Mathematics Grant, Black MaleInitiative, and Perkins Grant.
- 23. For more informationAE Dreyfuss adreyfuss@citytech.cuny.eduJanet Liou-Mark jliou-mark@citytech.cuny.edu

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