Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
SoTL Projects at Centre
SoTL projects supported by ACS Mellon Grant (Muzyka, 2012)
Project Title: The effect of mathematical modeling on quantitative literacy
Principal Investigators: Joel Kilty and Alex McAllister.
The quantitative literacy of college students is a major concern given the increasing role of mathematics and statistics in both everyday life and diverse academic disciplines. Students often struggle when asked to analyze the behavior of a set of data, to describe the relationships between multiple quantitative factors, or to mathematically model a particular situation. While developing MAT 145: Mathematical Modeling and Applied Calculus course at Centre College, the mathematics faculty sought to improve the quantitative literary of our students by incorporating significant mathematical modeling and data analysis elements into the course.
This project is designed to assess the effectiveness of a mathematical modeling and data analysis approach to Calculus in improving students' perceptions of their quantitative literacy. We also examine how this approach impacts their attitudes toward mathematics and their future plans in studying mathematics. The results of this study will be used to improve MAT 145: Mathematical Modeling and Applied Calculus at Centre College and to make improvements in the traditional Calculus sequence (MAT 170, MAT 171, MAT 230) at Centre College. In addition, we will provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of our approach to other mathematics educators via at least conference presentation(s) and possibly publication(s) in a peer-reviewed journal.
Project Title: Student Perceptions of Inclusiveness in the Philosophy Classroom
Principal Investigator: Eva Cadavid
The field of philosophy has recently lagged behind other disciplines in its ability to attract and retain women and members of under-represented ethnic-racial groups into its ranks. A look at applications for university teaching lines reveals a disturbing lack of candidates that are members of under-represented groups. At the undergraduate level, although the percentage of female students in introductory classes is high, the percentage that declare a major or that continue to take advanced undergraduate classes is low. Even the most talented female philosophy majors are hesitant to continue on to graduate school and of those who do, the graduation rates are low. As such, philosophical exploration has tended to ignore topics and approaches that are of particular relevance to women. The problem, we contend starts at the undergraduate level. Numbers of women who have declared philosophy as a major at Centre College are quite low, and conversations with our peers a other institutions like Centre indicates that the trend is widespread.
In this project we propose to first investigate what is happening in the classroom by gathering information on student perceptions first at Centre College and then at several institutions. Our goal is to understand and compare what philosophy faculty are currently conveying to students. In doing this, we will also be testing some of the prevalent theories in the field about what causes the gender gap. Ultimately, we would like to explore avenues to make the philosophy classroom more inclusive.
Project Title: The effect of different pedagogical approaches on student learning outcomes in organic chemistry
Principal investigator: Jennifer Muzyka
The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of different pedagogical approaches on learning in organic chemistry. Students in all organic chemistry courses during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years completed both pre- and post-surveys about different people or materials that might have influenced their learning in the course. These surveys and performance on specific questions on exams in the courses will be used to determine how pedagogical approaches and web-based apps designed to support student learning influenced student performance in the courses.
Project Title: The effect of different uses of technology in the chemistry classroom
Principal investigator: Leonard Demoranville
This project is designed to assess the effectiveness of the use of producing YouTube videos during classroom problem solving sessions and the use of the Infuse Learning system in helping students master the chemistry content they learn in organic, analytical and instrumental chemistry courses. The results of this study will be used to improve the instruction of chemistry at Centre College. The results will also be shared with other chemical educators via presentation and/or publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Project Title: Coping Skills in Higher Education Study
Principal investigator: Donna Plummer
This study is designed to help college faculty understand struggles faced by students on the autism spectrum in higher education. A better understanding of these struggles will enable faculty members to identify effective approaches to facilitate the success of those students, empowering them to succeed in the college environment. The results will be shared with Centre faculty members at a pedagogy luncheon. They will also be shared more broadly at pedagogical conferences and/or publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
CTL SoTL Resources
Listed below are books located in our resource center.
McKinney, K. (2007). Ehancing Learning Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: The Challenges and Joys of Juggling. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Bishop-Clark, C. (2012). Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Sterling, Virgina: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Weimer, M. (2006). Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning: Professional Literature that Makes a Difference. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
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