Theory to Practice: Reducing Student Attrition in Online Undergraduate Math

Jacquelyn Kelly, Alex Edgcomb, Jim Bruno, Chelsea Gordon, Frank Vahid

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Abstract


Researchers have developed numerous effective theory-based practices for teaching undergraduate general education mathematics (UGEM); however, many universities have struggled for decades to close the gap from theory to practice. This gap contributes to the national lack of skilled STEM workers. Recently, an all-online university closed the gap by shifting their philosophical framework for UGEM from traditionalist methodology to a synthesis of seminal theories and practices. This paper disseminates the implementation of theory-based practices in UGEM toward reducing student attrition (withdraw or fail), including: Rationale for theory identification, construction of a philosophical framework, collection of stakeholder input, implementation, evaluation, post-implementation maintenance and communication, and institutional socialization of the new paradigmatic shift. These efforts yielded an attrition reduction from 17.5% to 4.7% in Quantitative Reasoning 1 (QR1) and from 13.9% to 4.0% in QR2. A key reported outcome is a blueprint for an institution to similarly close the gap.


Keywords


Math education, Theory to practice, STEM education, Remote learning

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References


Kelly, J., Edgcomb, A., Bruno, J., Gordon, C., & Vahid, F. (2022). Theory to practice: Reducing student attrition in online undergraduate math. International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES), 8(2), 187-206. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijres.2622




DOI: https://doi.org/10.46328/ijres.2622

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Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Research in Education and Science

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International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES)
 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Editor: Wilfried Admiraal, The Netherlands

Place of Publication: Turkey & Name of Publisher: Ismail Sahin

ISSN: 2148-9955 (Online)