Agile and Active
Sustaining Pedagogical Change in a Large-Enrollment Calculus Course
Keywords:STEM retention, SoTL, Active learning
It is well documented that the use of active learning strategies increases student learning (Freeman et al., 2014; Prince, 2004; Springer, Stanne, & Donovan, 1999). A key difficulty in innovating college mathematics is identifying and sustaining what works for both students and the faculty. This study discusses efforts to innovate and sustain curricular change in introductory calculus at a private, elite institution. To examine if incorporating active learning strategies made a difference in student performance, student grades in the redesigned course and performance in subsequent courses were analyzed. Using Austin’s 2011 framework to understand the context in which the course redesign took place, individual faculty and contextual barriers and “levers” to sustain change are discussed. Findings are applicable to other STEM disciplines and to colleges and universities in general. Next steps in this research include identifying how to scale change, including, perhaps, networks of faculty to implement and spread the reform on campus.
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