QLAB update: piloting Q-bits with students (Fall ’17)

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Prof. Ming An (Vassar College), lead author of the 'Choosing a Graph Type' Q-bit
Prof. Ming An (Vassar College), lead author of the ‘Choosing a Graph Type‘ Q-bit

This summer and fall, faculty, technologists and instructional designers collaborated intensively to launch QLAB, a shared framework for curating, implementing and assessing online instructional modules for quantitative skills (QS) and reasoning for just-in-time review and skill-building across disciplines.  The goal of the QLAB project is to assist faculty teaching quantitative subjects who find they need methods to support students with gaps in preparation. The strategy draws on a body of research in higher education and experience at our institutions showing that online modules can be a beneficial component of an overall QS support program.

The individual modules, known as Qbits, review quantitative topics and demonstrate the topic’s applications in different disciplinary contexts.  For example, a module might review logarithms and then consider the application to decibels and sound perception in psychology, the Richter scale in geology, the concept of pH in chemistry, etc. In Fall 2017, Qbits are being implemented through a combination of videos and quizzing, and consist of an initial knowledge check, short videos to review specific quantitative skills, structured application problems that give students practice applying the quantitative skill in disciplinary contexts, and a final knowledge check.

Q-bits tested in Fall 2017:

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QLAB kick off
June 2017

Developing online resources that can be used in multiple contexts to help students strengthen their quantitative skills serves two purposes. First, by demonstrating the relevance of specific QS in various disciplinary contexts, students learn to view quantitative skills as fundamental and transferable skills that they can draw on in many areas of their liberal arts experience. Second, the consortial effort allows us to collect meaningful data about the effectiveness of the various modules for a greater number of students in a wider variety of contexts.  Using what we learn in this pilot, we plan to expand the collection of useful modules.

Aims of the pilot include:

  • Developing a collaborative framework for design, implement and assessment of online modules for QS/QR instruction and review at residential liberal arts institutions.
  • Crafting an initial set of four instructional modules for use in Fall 2017 on high-priority QS topics, drawing on high quality instructional content, developed in partnership with Yale ONEXYS and others.  
  • Assessing module effectiveness as refreshers for tutoring and as just-in-time instruction embedded in coursework.
  • Gathering data to evaluate the impact of modules on student learning and confidence in each phase of the project and beyond.

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LACOL Hack-a-thon Toward a Collaborative Quantitative Skills Support Framework

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See also: QLAB project launch http://lacol.net/qlab-launch

This January, LACOL’s Quantitative Skills working group held a 3­-day intensive workshop (also known as a hack­-a­-thon) to explore a shared framework for review of online modules designed to strengthen students’ quantitative skills (QS) and quantitative reasoning (QR). The face-to-face event was designed by a core team of faculty and technologists from the QS group.  The workshop was hosted at Carleton College, with support from the Office of the President, Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, and Office of Academic Technology.

Click for the Slideshow
Click for the Slideshow

Goals for the LACOL QS hack-a-thon:

  1. Identify aspects of existing QS/QR curricula, frameworks, and methods to be adapted as an online module/program by participating colleges. The goal for the collaboration is to enhance, not replace, local offerings.
  2. Plan for participating campuses to pilot one of the frameworks and agree to a process for assessment and sharing results among campuses.
  3. Document workshop outcomes and recommendations to share with colleagues across the liberal arts.

Location: Carleton College

Dates: Jan 9-11, 2017 (live blogging)

Workshop Outline: click here

Special Guest: Jim Rolf, Shizuo Kakutani Lecturer in Mathematics at Yale University; lead for Yale Online Experiences for Yale Scholars (ONEXYS)

Workshop Participants: list

Background:

Throughout the year, the QS working group has been exploring ideas for a collaborative framework to curate or build online tools and resources – including metadata on related pedagogical practices – to support students with QS/QR. Earlier this year, QS group members contributed to a joint exercise informally titled “What do we mean by quantitative skills?” to generate a shared list of key skills across the quantitative disciplines that students will need to have or acquire early in their academic careers. This common skills list provides input into strategies for helping students identify and close gaps.
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Live from the LACOL QS Hack-a-thon at Carleton College (Jan 9-11)

Welcome! Here is a slideshow and live tweets from the #LACOLQS hack-a-thon, Jan 9-11 on the campus of Carleton College.

Colleagues with wide-ranging expertise and disciplinary interests from seven LACOL schools spent three days sharing, working and learning side-by-side at the hack-a-thon. Together, the team developed an initial draft and prototypes of a collaborative framework for creating/curating and evaluating online QS/QR modules that can boost students success and improve access. With inspiration from special guest Jim Rolf from Yale ONEXYS, we delved deeply into collaborative strategies for design, implementation and measuring effectiveness. A grand time was had by all … and more to come! (Read more about the project.)

  • badges for Yales online summer bridge for QS ONEXYS LACOLQS
    2 years ago badges for Yale's online summer bridge for QS, ONEXYS  #LACOLQS 
  • M EblenZayas draws examples from Carleton CUBE to fuel collabhellip
    9 months ago M. Eblen-Zayas draws examples from Carleton CUBE to fuel collab  #LACOLQS 
  • Getting modular LACOLQS
    9 months ago Getting modular  #LACOLQS 
  • Hacking the Qbits LACOLQS
    9 months ago Hacking the Q-bits  #LACOLQS 
  • Next stop LACOLQS Hackathon carletoncollege
    10 months ago Next stop:  #LACOLQS  Hack-a-thon  @carletoncollege 
  • Breakouts  headsdown work on topical modules in this casehellip
    9 months ago Breakouts ... heads-down work on topical modules (in this case, graphing)  #LACOLQS 
  • Sharing our campus perspectives LACOLQS
    9 months ago Sharing our campus perspectives  #LACOLQS 
  • Thanks to E Mistry and C Born in Carleton AThellip
    9 months ago Thanks to E Mistry and C Born in Carleton AT  #LACOLQS 
  • Welcome to colleagues joining remotely SF  LA for QShellip
    9 months ago Welcome to colleagues joining remotely (SF & LA) for QS hack-a-thon  #LACOLQS 
  • Problems problems LACOLQS
    9 months ago Problems problems  #LACOLQS 
  • Students perspective LACOLQS
    9 months ago Students perspective  #LACOLQS 
  • Afternoon breakout  connecting Pomona colleagues to Carleton via Zoomhellip
    9 months ago Afternoon breakout ... connecting Pomona colleagues to Carleton via Zoom  #LACOLQS 
  • J Rolf shares insights from Yale ONEXYS LACOLQS
    9 months ago J Rolf shares insights from Yale ONEXYS  #LACOLQS 
  • Expert mingle! LACOLQS
    9 months ago Expert mingle!  #LACOLQS 
  • Day 2 ! LACOLQS
    9 months ago Day 2 !  #LACOLQS 
  • Yes we do LACOLQS
    9 months ago Yes we do.  #LACOLQS 
  • Packing a few essentials for the LACOLQS hackthon Jan 911hellip
    10 months ago Packing a few essentials for the  #LACOLQS  hack-thon, Jan 9-11  @carletoncollege 
  • The incomparable J Russell at LACOLQS
    9 months ago The incomparable J Russell at  #LACOLQS 

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Carleton CUBE Debrief

Meeting:

Debrief on Carleton’s CUBE pilot (online summer bridge program for quantitative skills)

On October 19, LACOL held a webinar with special guests Melissa Eblen-Zayas and Janet Russell from Carleton College.  In this one-hour session, Melissa and Janet shared their experiences running the first iteration of the ‘Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience’ or CUBE, a new online summer bridge program designed to support entering students with quantitative skills and reasoning.  Carleton’s creative approach to developing CUBE riveted the audience at the June LACOL workshop as the pilot was just getting underway.  Now in this “debrief” session, you can hear all about what went into running the program in the first round, how students responded, and the lessons that were learned.  The meeting was held in Zoom with ample opportunity for Q&A and discussion.

Special Guests:

  • Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, Carleton College
  • Janet Russell, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College

Related Resources:

Date:

Wednesday, Oct 19

Time:

  • Pacific: 8am-9am
  • Central: 10am-11am
  • Eastern: 11am-noon

 

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Working Group on Quantitative Skill

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LACOL’s Quantitative Skills Group is focused on providing students with the preparation they need to engage in quantitative reasoning across the disciplines. In addition, the group is exploring ways our network may enrich opportunities for advanced study and collaborative faculty-student research.

Activities and Interests of this group include:

  • Study group for ongoing dialogue about emerging pedagogies for liberal arts teaching and learning for the quantitative disciplines; comparing campus data
  • Collecting and sharing of online and adaptive  tools and resources to support student learning
  • Experiment with online communities and peer networks to support students and peer tutors
  • Opportunities to connect faculty and students for upper level learning through online exchange
Quantitative Skills Intranet Home: http://lacol.net/collab/

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