Transition to College Mathematics and Statistics

Evaluation of the Transition to College Mathematics and Statistics course involved both formative and summative components and included mixed methodologies for data collection and analysis.

Formative evaluation focused on data collected from six field-test schools in five states during use of the TCMS units with students who were completing their senior year of high school. Schools were selected to represent a balance of curriculum backgrounds from both single-subject and integrated-content organizations. Data collection during the field-test year (2011–12) focused on questions of implementation and usability of the materials with the targeted population (i.e., students not intending to major in a field requiring college-level calculus). Nine teachers were involved in the field-test study in multiple classrooms comprising approximately 250 students.

Data collection during the formative stage of this project included multiple multi-day classroom visits to each school, classroom observations using

project-designed protocols, unit annotations by and online reports from teachers as they implemented the TCMS materials, and interviews with teachers and students representing a range of ability levels. These data were combined with input from advisory board and teacher focus group meetings to inform the final version of the TCMS course.

Summative evaluation components included administration of two types of pre-post beliefs and conceptions of mathematics surveys, pre-post administration of the ITED-Q Level 17/18 test of quantitative reasoning skills, development and administration of a project-developed post-test focused on essential goals of each TCMS unit, and tracking of students into college-level mathematics courses. Analyses involving each of these instruments and post-TCMS course taking patterns and achievement of students who participated in the field test are ongoing.

Check back periodically for brief reports of findings from the various analyses.