Author: David M. Lascu, Project Manager at Anne Arundel Community College Virtual Campus
Approximately 60 percent of first-year college students are required to take at least one developmental course (mathematics, reading and writing), yet less than 25 percent of community college students who are enrolled in these developmental courses earn a certificate or degree within eight years. In an attempt to improve students’ college readiness and to help students achieve their academic goals the Bridge to Success (B2S) project has introduced Succeed with Math. Along with Learning to Learn, these two open educational resources provide core academic and life skills that promote personal, professional, and academic success.
Succeed with Math is designed to provide free and accessible online content to help users close gaps in their math ability, build confidence, reduce math anxiety, and provide a solid foundation for the pursuit of higher levels of math. Presented in an online modular format, with pre-assessment diagnostic activities, formative and post assessments, multi-media presentations, interactive activities, real-world application activities, and pencast* lectures that are meant to engage adult learners. Anne Arundel Community College (AACC), in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Open University (OU) of Milton Keynes, England, and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), developed the B2S project.
At a time when the economy is struggling, individuals are seeking many avenues to enhance their career, vocational and educational opportunities. The impact of the Internet and online access has changed the way we interact and gain information, including the way learners choose to learn. With a large segment of the population seeking Adult Basic Education courses, GED certifications, vocational and career training, and many individuals seeking new educational opportunities through community colleges, the challenge is to provide educational tools in a cost effective and accessible way that can help a student succeed. Succeed with Math meets this challenge.
Anyone who has access to an Internet connection can go to the B2S website (http://b2s.aacc.edu) and link to the free and open course material and register with an email address. Succeed with Math is currently being introduced in pilot programs throughout the United States. The course content can be utilized in a formal educational setting or be accessed on an individual basis. The pilot experiences allow the B2S project to evaluate and assess the impact of Succeed with Math, evaluate its design and the student and/or facilitator (instructor) experience, and measure participants’ outcomes. Some of our current pilot partnerships that are planned for Spring 2012 include various AACC and UMUC academic and student services’ departments, Greenville Technical College, Prince George’s Community College, Shippensburg University, Frederick Community College, Delta College, Severna Park High School, City of Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Succeed with Math provides an opportunity for any educational provider or any individual to operate in the blended world of the open learner. The pilot opportunity is open to any institution, organization, or agency that wants to add value to the educational opportunities they offer. A small amount of grant funds may be available to interested pilot institutions – each will be evaluated as funds remain available. We currently have 12 institutions piloting Succeed with Math and Learning to Learn. Please contact the Bridge to Success (b2s.aacc.edu) site for current status.
*pencast is trademark of Livescribe, Inc.