Tips and Tricks Irvine Valley College 2013


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Tips and Tricks for teaching math online, updated for Irvine Valley College, April 5, 2013.

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Tips and Tricks Irvine Valley College 2013

  1. 1. Tips and Tricks forTeaching Math Online By Fred Feldon Coastline Community College Fountain Valley, CA April 5, 2013
  2. 2. Hello, and Welcome!• Coastline is one of 3 colleges in the District• We focus on the nontraditional students and methods of instruction• 84% of the math department is enrolled online
  3. 3. Adapting to Technology
  4. 4. Adapting to Technology
  5. 5. Adapting to Technology
  6. 6. You’ve Got Questions…• Why Do Students Take Classes Online?• What Are the Success and Retention Rates?• What’s Different About Teaching Online?• How Much Time Does It Take?• Should I Use a Course Management System (CMS) or Start From “Scratch”?• How Do You Pick a CMS?
  7. 7. Questions… (Con’t)• If You “Build It” Will They Come?• How Do You Retain Students?• How Do You Create a Community of Learners?• How Do You Supplement the Course With Your Own Material?• How Do You Keep Students From Cheating?
  8. 8. Why Do Students Take Classes Online?• Students self-select into online courses• Survey says: – I enrolled in this class because it was closed at Coastline. Agree: 7% – I enrolled in this class because it was closed at another college. Agree: 2% – I enrolled because I wanted an online course. Agree: 86% (Source: Survey of Fall 2005 Coastline College DL students)
  9. 9. What Are the Success and Retention Rates?• About the same as face-to-face classes
  10. 10. What Are the Success and Retention Rates?• About the same as face-to-face classes• Why? – Students who are highly motivated and have the right skills self-select into an online class – Online format fosters more independent learning – Instructor gives more attention to some students who might otherwise be ignored – Students schedule study time with less distractions, greater concentration – Students study and interact with anyone rather than just who they sit next to in class
  11. 11. What’s Different About Teaching Online?CON:• There’s a learning curve• Probably more time-consuming• You see less students face-to-face• Number of e-mails increases• More work must be done up-front• You become “addicted” to the computer
  12. 12. What’s Different About Teaching Online? (Con’t)PRO:• Increased flexibility• Travel to and teach from any location• Feeling of community is possible!!• Equally rewarding and enjoyable• Number of students you can reach individually increases• Students can collaborate easier• Students can be asked to do more on their own-- the role of authority is more spread out
  13. 13. What’s Different About Teaching Online? (Con’t)PRO (Con’t):• Assessments (such as homework & quizzes) can be automatically graded, saving time• Changes to your course “on the fly” are possible• You have time to think and research before answering questions• Students are expecting more technology• Number of voicemails decreases• Supplemental and enrichment material can be more timely--and look better too (see following examples)
  14. 14. Answer: 1st Star No. 1 5th Square No. 2nd Star No. 4 + 4(1) = 8 3rd Star No. 9 + 4(3) = 21 4th Triangular No. 4th Star No. 16 + 4(6) = 40 5th Star No. 25 + 4(10) = 55 20th Star No. 400 + 4(190) = 1,160 n th Star No. n 2 + 4[n(n - 1)/2] = 3n 2 - 2n n -1 Triangular No. n th Square No.
  15. 15. A Fly in the RoomTwo walls and the ceiling of a room meet at rightangles at point P. A fly is in the air one foot from onewall, eight feet from the other wall, and nine feet frompoint P. How many feet is the fly from the ceiling?
  16. 16. Answer A 3-dimensional box with the point P in one corner and the fly in another is shown. Use the Pythagorean Theorem first to get the diagonal on the bottom, then again to get the distance x to the ceiling. The answer is 4 feet.
  17. 17. Arc To AreaThe arc below has a measure of 40 degrees, and its endpointsare at (1,5) and (5,3). Find the area of the circle that contains thearc.
  18. 18. AnswerTo find the answer you don’t need to know where the center is, youjust have to find the radius. Draw a picture, put a point about wherethe center might be, draw a triangle, label everything you know and gofrom there. You can use the Law of Sines or split the triangle in two (a 20-90-70 triangle) and use trig to get the length of the radius, about 6.5382, so the area of the circle is about 134.28 square units.
  19. 19. Mathematical MisfitWhich fits best: a square peg in a round hole, ora round peg in a square hole?To be more precise, if you take a circle and fit itjust inside a square, or take a square and fit itjust inside a circle, which fills up proportionallythe most space?
  20. 20. Answer: Take a Square whose side = 1 unit, and acircle which just fits inside. Area of Circle/Area ofSquare =  (1/2)2 / 1 =  /4 = 0.785.Take a Circle whose diameter = 1 unit, and a squarewhich just fits inside. Area of Square/Area of Circle =  (1/ 2 )2 / ( (1/2)2) = 2/ = 0.637. Since  /4 > 2/ , the round peg fills up proportionallymore space and therefore fits better in the square holethan the square peg fits in the round hole!
  21. 21. The Shrinking WatermelonYesterday you bought a huge 100-pound watermelonthat was 90% water. You left it outside in the hot sun. Some of the water evaporated, so it is now 80% water. How much does it weigh now?
  22. 22. Answer The 10 pounds of fruit that didn’t evaporate is still there. That nowmust represent 20%, or one-fifth, of the shrunken watermelon. So thewatermelon must weigh 50 pounds.
  23. 23. August 31, 2012, 7:13pmWas it a “Blue Moon” last night? Explain Your Answer.
  24. 24. Question: “Which is bigger, halfof a small pizza or one-fourth ofa large?” Explain your answer.
  25. 25. From Images of Mathematicians on Postage Stamps: TheImpossible Figures of Oscar Reutersvard, Sweden, 1982
  26. 26. How Much Time Does It Take?• Equal to or more than face-to-face classes• To minimize that: – Don’t “reinvent the wheel.” Use a Course Management System (CMS) – Share online material with other faculty in your department – Discourage the use of e-mail; encourage use of the discussion board
  27. 27. How Much Time Does It Take?– Respond to e-mails with, “That’s a good question. Could you do me a favor? Other students may be wondering the same thing. Could you please post your question on the Discussion Board? That way, we can help everyone. I or another student will reply right away. Thanks!”– Prioritize student contact and your time as follows: (1) Discussion Board (2) E-mail (3) Voicemail
  28. 28. Should I Start From “Scratch” or Use a Course Management System (CMS)?• Absolutely! Available FREE from a variety of publishers pre-loaded with textbook-specific content and numerous features. Here’s what to look for:
  29. 29. How Do You Pick a CMS?1. Internet-based, available from any computer2. Easy to register for, easy to use3. Textbook-specific instructional material including videos, interactive exercises and tutorials4. Algorithmic assessments that can also be printed out in hard-copy5. Gradebook with full edit/import/export capabilities6. Communication features including e-mail to all or select students, live chat, and asynchronous, threaded discussion
  30. 30. How Do You Pick a CMS? (Con’t)7. Attractive design8. Flexibility - Works right “out of the box” plus allows for extensive customization, enhancement, and modification - Works in a variety of instructional modes including online, traditional classroom, and hybrid environments9. Tech support included free, by e-mail and phone10. Parent corporation welcomes input and provides frequent updates and improvements11. Free to students, free to instructors, free to the college, with purchase of a textbook; or access is available separately
  31. 31. If You Build It, Will They Come? How Do You Retain Students? How Do You Create a Community of Learners?• Your participation is key• Students will “follow your lead”• Require a Student Bio be posted the first week• Discourage other forms of communication and focus on the Discussion Board• Visit Discussion Board every day, before you open your e-mail, before you check voicemail• Thank students by name, acknowledge their involvement, make every message positive
  32. 32. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• Post items that invite and encourage students to visit the Discussion Board: – Extra Credit problems “first-come, first-served” – Require students to explain their thinking – Hints to succeed in the class, “hot tips” for exams – Current articles or other items of interest (see examples) – Comics and cartoons (see examples) – Helpful links such as: • How To Type Math On a Keyboard
  33. 33. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• Graphing Calculator Instructions• Online Netiquette• Biographies of Famous Mathematicians• MathWorld• Math Reference Tables• Music and Math
  34. 34. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• OnLineConversion.com• Algebra Reviewhttp://www.purplemath.comhttp://www.mathtv.com• Dealing with Math Anxietyhttp://www.academicsuccess.com• Computational Knowledge Engine
  35. 35. • Links to Supplemental Learning Resources: PatrickJMT on YouTube
  36. 36. Add Math-Related Content from Current Events
  37. 37. Recent Timemagazine article:Subjects in anexperiment didmath problems andmade fewer errorswith a pet in theroom, compared towith their friends,their spouse, oralone!
  38. 38. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog!”
  39. 39. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• “Reach Out” at regular intervals – Send e-mail to all students 1-2 weeks after semester begins – Send e-mail 1-2 weeks later, to students with little or no activity, asking how you can help – Send e-mail before the Midterm, with study suggestions and wishing them luck – Post “Tips for the Midterm” on the Discussion Board (e.g. discuss the most frequently-missed problem from last semester) – Send e-mail before drop deadline encouraging catch-up or suggesting withdrawal
  40. 40. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• Be flexible – Have a schedule students should follow, but allow full credit for quizzes and homework (algorithmic), no matter when they’re done – Have several different forms (I have 6) of the Midterm and Final for flexibility – Expect and allow some students to get a late start – Expect and allow some students to finish late (give them an “F” then change their grade later)
  41. 41. Building a Community of Learners (Con’t)• Encourage student-to-student interaction – Form groups – Homogeneous or random? – Assign peer-evaluated projects or papers – Praise students for helping each other (public acknowledgement on the Discussion Board or privately in an e-mail) – Choose a student or group of students to be in the “hot seat” for a question (students need to learn how to explain their thinking, justify an answer, and com- municate mathematically)
  42. 42. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material• Some suggested products: – Screen capture programs like Camtasia and SnagIt at or ScreenWatch at www – Movie-making software from Visual Communicator at www.seriousmagic .com – Smart boards and tablets from Smart Technologies at www2 and – The io2 Digital Pen at – Create a video in your college studio or a Podcast from home – Use a Tablet PC to “ink” your lectures and review sessions – Microsoft PowerPoint or Movie Maker plus a webcam, digital video cam, or your digital still camera and a microphone – Web conferencing technology like WebEx or GoToMeeting or CCCConfer (in California)
  43. 43. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t)• Tablet PCs available from Toshiba, Fujitsu, HP, Sony, Asus, Samsung and others• I use a “pure slate” Tablet from www.motioncomputing .com
  44. 44. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t)Solve problem and show your work then print to PDF and attachthe file to Discussion Board message, e-mail to students, orpost to course Website:
  45. 45. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t)Use Jing to capture embed HTML code, then pasteimage into the body of a message on theDiscussion Board:
  46. 46. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t) See actual video at:
  47. 47. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t)The presenter created a video showing students how to useMyMathLab to be successful in the course See actual video at:
  48. 48. Supplement the Course With Your Own Material (Con’t)Instructor-created video on curve fitting and regressionanalysis See actual video at:
  49. 49. How Do You Keep Students From Cheating?• Make online assessments like quizzes and homework worth a small part of their grade• Quizzes and homework are algorithmic• Add Projects for part of their grade – Students in one class watch the PBS Life By the Numbers series featuring Danny Glover and write a 1-2 page paper – Another course (Math for Elementary Teachers) visits K-8 classrooms to observe, to deliver a math lesson; each student writes a report that the entire class reads and discusses.
  50. 50. How Do You Keep Students From Cheating? (Con’t)• Midterm and Final Exams are open-ended, free- response and worth a total of 60-70% of their grade; ID is checked• Have multiple versions (I have 6 different forms of the Midterm and Final each)• Require students to show work on test• Anecdotal evidence: student work is authentic – Scores for online work matches scores on Midterm and Final taken with me or by Proctors who check ID
  51. 51. Thank You! This presentation is available to download at Check out a live course! Visit http://www.pearsonmylab.comLogin: 030lialstudent password: coastline030 Intermediate Algebra