Co-Calculus: Integrating the Academic and the Social

Daniel L Reinholz

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Abstract


Being part of a cohesive learning community supports retention and success in early mathematics courses. Yet, large, unwelcoming lectures stand in opposition to this goal, isolating students and pushing them away from STEM. This paper offers a comparative analysis of three efforts to build community amongst students, all situated within a single large-lecture introductory calculus course at a diverse, research-extensive institution. These programs were: (1) active learning labs, targeted at all students, (2) a small-group seminar for commuter students, and (3) a workshop model targeted at “underserved” students in STEM. Of these three efforts, only the workshop model had a significant impact on student success. Social networks within the workshop section suggest that students were able to integrate their academic and social experiences to a greater extent than the other sections. These results suggest that active learning and co-calculus experiences alone may be insufficient to foster cohesive social and academic bonds, unless properly organized.


Keywords


Mathematics workshop program; Equity

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References


Reinholz, D.L. (2017). Co-calculus: Integrating the academic and the social. International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES), 3(2), 521-542. DOI:10.21890/ijres.327911


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