Mathematics Change Grant 2023


The Active Learning Change Grant program is designed to encourage and support a broad-scale adoption of active learning approaches to promote a culture of active learning across UGA departments and programs. Active Learning Change Grants are intended to encourage systematic thinking and a collective effort from academic units (e.g., departments and interdisciplinary programs) to create learning environments conducive to student learning through implementing new teaching practices and/or initiatives.

The purpose of this project is to develop a cohesive and streamlined active learning experience for all students taking the five courses in the calculus sequence: MATH 1113 – PreCalculus, MATH 2250 – Calculus 1 for Science and Engineering, MATH 2260 – Calculus 2 for Science and Engineering, MATH 2270 – Calculus 3 for Science and Engineering, and MATH 2500 – Multivariable Calculus. Though the department notes that videos and workbooks have been created for both MATH 1113 and MATH 2250 (and are available online at cost), this same infrastructure is not yet in place for MATH 2260 (though a redesign for this course has occurred) or MATH 2270 and MATH 2500.

Anticipated Impact

This proposal requests funding to (1) complete the course workbook for MATH 2260, (2) redesign MATH 2270 and MATH 2500 as flipped courses with video lectures and course workbooks, and (3) create an active learning repository and eLC course templates for all courses in the calculus sequence, and (4) to offer department-wide active learning workshops and create active learning working groups for instructors teaching each of the five classes in the calculus sequence.

The Statistics Change Grant Team

The Department of Mathematics supports active learning pedagogy by successfully redesigning MATH 1113 and 2250, winning the FY2022 USG Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award for Department or Program. Further, the participation of instructors in the Active Learning Summer Institute, the role of Toyin Alli as an Active Learning Mentor, and the part of MaLT (Mathematics Learning and Teaching), a group of more than 50 instructors in the department that meets biweekly to discuss topics of pedagogy and learn from outside speakers all demonstrate a unit-wide commitment to improving learning for students, including the adoption of active learning approaches.  We believe the team suggested will continue supporting these department endeavors. Toyin Alli and Sofya Zaytseva will serve as Team Facilitators, while Jacob Hicks, Kellie Sappington, Jennifer Royal, and the members of MaLT will serve as team members.

Funding Allocations

All the funding for the change grant team went to facilitate the salary supplements for faculty implementing the changes for Math.

Assessment Plan

This change grant project includes a robust assessment plan.

Student Disciplinary Knowledge Indicators – The Department of Mathematics plans to measure the students’ overall disciplinary knowledge (e.g., retention and other academic performance metrics) in the redesigned courses and compare these two pre-redesigned measurements.

Student Perspectives – This plan includes incorporating Mid-Semester Formative Evaluations (MSFEs) in redesigned courses (MATH 2260 and MATH 2270/2500). To assist with these MSFEs, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will build capacity within the department to conduct and facilitate MSFEs for one another’s courses. These MSFEs will include questions for students on the materials designed for the course (e.g., videos and worksheets) as well as active learning activities and group work.

Instructor Perspectives – The team will also collect surveys from instructors to reflect on the perceived effectiveness of active learning strategies on student learning outcomes in their sections.