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Professors will share their math/stats course exchange pilot at EDUCAUSE ELI

Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Assistant Professor of Statistics at Vassar College
Above: Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Asst. Prof. of Statistics at Vassar College

Top: Steven J. Miller Assoc. Prof of Mathematics, Williams College

As one possible avenue to expanding curricular offerings for math and stats majors at small liberal arts institutions, partner schools in the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL) have been exploring ways to remotely share classes using hybrid/online delivery modes.  Professors Steven J. Miller (Williams College and Jingchen Monika Hu (Vassar College), two faculty members at the forefront of this collaboration, will describe their experiences in designing hybrid courses and teaching with a mix of digital pedagogies.  We will emphasize how connections were made between students and faculty, how well local and remote students were able to engage the material, and the various challenges in coordinating course delivery across several campuses.

For students of advanced mathematics and statistics, the liberal arts model offers a deep level of engagement in learning with faculty and peers; however, due to practical limitations, small colleges cannot always offer the breadth of course subjects available at larger institutions with graduate programs. To explore collaborative models that may help to enrich curricular offerings, faculty and technologists from several leading liberal arts colleges are experimenting with a consortial online/hybrid course sharing model.  In this talk, the professors will share results from three recent course pilots: Steven Miller’s Spring 2017 Problem Solving course from WIlliams College (involving students at Williams, Swarthmore and Amherst Colleges), Monika Hu’s Bayesian Statistics course from Vassar College, and Stephan Garcia’s Advanced Real Analysis course from Pomona College (Fall 2017).  

Stephan Garcia, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Pomona College
S. Garcia, Assoc. Prof. Mathematics, Pomona College

Working with faculty, students and instructional design partners across several schools, we have experimented with a mix of digital technologies for delivering weekly lectures, screencasts, problem solving sessions, exams, and online office hours.  Based on evidence gathered from students, the teaching faculty and local faculty liaisons, and technologists, our results to date suggest remote/hybrid course sharing for the liberal arts can be highly effective under the right circumstances. To further explore the potential for the LACOL upper level math and stats collaboration, a number of factors must be carefully weighed, including the appropriate tech tools to support different teaching and learning styles, issues of student and faculty credit, equitable sharing of labor and resources, and a cooperative departmental framework for matching the supply and demand for remote/hybrid offerings.