April 29 tea


Making developmental mathematics courses inquiry-oriented and student-centered comes with unique challenges. However, instructors all over the state are working within their institutions to make “developmental” courses more interactive and student centered. At this 90-minute virtual tea, we welcome a small panel of instructors, coordinators, and curriculum designers that will share their experiences in improving instruction in college math courses below College Algebra. The panel will last 30-45 minutes before we break into smaller groups for informal discussions.

How to attend:

Gather on the aptly-named platform Gather.Town! Click on this link: https://gather.town/i/6RhNHfqg and enter the password: tea. (Arrive a few minutes early if you enjoy customizing your avatar with your choice of hair/hat/glasses/clothes/etc.)

Francesca has “remodeled” a little bit since last month and the large carpeted area is now one big common space. Use the arrow keys to navigate your avatar to that carpet when you arrive.

Note: If the room is empty, it may mean that the app crashed and we’ve relocated to another link. There is a message board icon on the bottom toolbar (on the right)-- find any relocation instructions there!

Panelist Bios:

Barbie Hoag is Math Faculty and Department Chair at Oakland Community College - Auburn Hills. She currently teaches a developmental level math literacy course (which is a pre-req for college level Statistics or Quantitative Reasoning). This year she is structuring her class using the framework laid out in "Building Thinking Classrooms" by Peter Liljedahl.

Dr. Grace McClurkin works at Saginaw Valley State University where she is involved in initiatives to incorporate more active learning in developmental math courses through curriculum/course material creation and instructor professional development. She enjoys the challenge of adding new perspectives/layers to topics students think they know because they've seen them before.

Kirsty Eisenhart has been the Director of Developmental Mathematics at WMU since 2008. Her focus has always been trying to find ways to support students to reason about mathematics – something she has come to realize is far from trivial! Her recent participation in “Gateways to Completion” has reminded her the importance of collecting and using data to guide lesson, course and program adjustments.

Rama Chidambaram has taught Intermediate Algebra synchronously online for the last two semesters at the Henry Ford College. She is working to implement groupwork in this challenging setting, but has yet to feel totally successful with that. She is finding, however, strategies for getting students involved in a whole classroom discussion in this online platform. Some of the barriers to small group active learning in her online developmental classes have been: class size, students’ ability to communicate online, and their fear of being wrong and being judged.