Before 2011, student performance rates in college algebra and trigonometry at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&TSU) were consistently below 50%. To remedy this situation, the Mathematics Department implemented the math emporium model (MEM) instructional method. The underlying principle behind MEM is that students learn math by doing math (Twigg, 2011). The MEM requires students to work on math problems and spend more time on material that they do not understand while allowing them to spend less time on material that they do understand. Also, students receive immediate feedback on problems from teaching assistants as they work through their online assignments. After implementing the MEM, student pass rates improved for both the MEM and traditional sections. Data to date also show that female students outperform male students in both instructional models. Further study is needed to determine the factors that have caused improvement in pass rates in addition to the implementation of the MEM. Some important lessons learned by the NCA&TSU math faculty from implementing the MEM into the college algebra and trigonometry courses are that successful implementation requires a long-term commitment, internal and external collaborations, and the collective ability to determine what works for the local setting.
This material is based upon work supported by the following:
National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1610482;
Glaxo Smith Kline Foundation Grant; and
University of North Carolina General Administration through a UNC Performance Funding Grant and a UNC Course Redesign Grant.
Cousins-Cooper, K., Clemence-Mkhope, D., Redd, T., Luke, N. and Kim, S. (2019), "Math Emporium Instructional Course Design: Algebra Course Evolution at an HBCU", Broadening Participation in STEM (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 237-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-364420190000022011Download as .RIS
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