ABI Faculty Development Program Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter
Serving the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students at BMCC and Hunter

How to motivate students to take initiative to study outside of classroom?

Class information

MAT1275CO – College Algebra and Trigonometry

21 students

The students are from different high schools from different grades 10th to 12th. Students from 10th grade are taking Algebra or Geometry in their high school, and students from 12th grade are taking up to AP Calculus. I am meeting students on Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:56pm and on Saturdays from 8:50am-12:41pm; I am holding office hours from 1:00pm-3:00pm. Students also have an in-class tutor for support on Saturday’s classes.


Project overview


I used weekly survey or questions to gather information about students’ opinions in regard to the topics of the week. On day 1, I gave the class a survey on their thoughts on their identity related to learning Mathematics. I gave questions on their expectations for the class and self-identity questions associated with math learning, for example, “Do you believe stereotypes positively or negatively affect learning mathematics? Please explain your opinion.” and “How had your identity affected your learning of math?” After that, my survey questions were more on Math questions to see if students had any misconceptions.


Why did you select this project? How does it relate to identity and purpose?


In the past, I have been giving students weekly quizzes to test for their understanding, but I have students who came in late and missed the quizzes. In order for me to know if students are getting the content, I need to know what they are thinking. I learned that some students tend to have an answer when they are asked to write on papers. Then, I thought about using weekly questions/survey to gather more information on students’ learning.


What advice do you have for other faculty who would like to implement a similar project?


I learned that I have to prepare questions ahead of the week, for example, while I was doing the lesson planning, I should also consider what potential questions on the weekly survey or questions. Some math topics are more procedural than others for which I would give students weekly questions instead of surveys for students to show all work. I would also try to use the beginning of the next class to go over the weekly questions, and I would also use the survey results to modify my next lesson. For example, if students identified in the survey that complex numbers have been confusing, then I would spend some time to clarify any confusion that they may have.


Note: I participated in the ABI faculty seminar in Summer 2023, but I did not see the option.


Related materials

https://abiseminaralums.commons.gc.cuny.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/17838/files/2023/11/Course-Syllabus_MAT1275CO.pdf, https://abiseminaralums.commons.gc.cuny.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/17838/files/2023/11/Survey-on-Reflections-on-EXAM2_revised-.xlsx, https://abiseminaralums.commons.gc.cuny.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/17838/files/2023/11/Feedback-on-Exam.pdf

I uploaded the course syllabus, data collection on students’ survey results after taking the midterm, and the feedback that I gave to the class after reading students’ survey results combined with students’ work on the exam.

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