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Project Title:Math Teaching and Learning Center (TLC)Institution Name:University of Wisconsin – Stout Innovation Category:Program Design and Delivery Project Director:Jeanne Foley, Math TLC DirectorContact Information:(715) 232-5001, foleyj@uwstout.eduWebsite:http://www.uwstout.edu/mathtlc/index.cfm
Project Description: The Math TLC is where UW-Stout students learn basic math skills in a people-oriented, technology-enhanced environment. Teachers start daily classroom sessions with a short lecture, then students begin online homework assignments with help from teachers and specially trained peer tutors. 
  • Student engagement:
    • Increase in student completion rates, success with homework, time spent on task, and attendance rates.
  • Subsequent course performance and impact on retention:
    • Increase in student retention and progression into higher level math classes. 
  • Closing the minority achievement gap in math:
    • The Math TLC program has cut the minority student achievement gap by more than half. 
  • Regional and national impact:
    • A 2006 FIPSE award was the first such grant for UW-Stout and was also the only 2006 FIPSE grant awarded among the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. 
  • 95% of students submitting all homework assignments; average score of 92%. Students spending an average 95 minutes on each day’s homework assignment. Attendance rates average above 90%. 
  • Average grade of students in the subsequent College Algebra course increased slightly compared to the traditionally-taught cohort. 
  • The gap in F/W rates between students of color and students in the white majority dropped from 40% in 2003-3004 to less than 20% in 2004-2005. 
  • Expand the concept to higher level math courses, adapt the program to a summer pre-college preparatory program, and foster adoption and adaptation by other universities.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:
  • Funding: Created in 2004 via special allocation from the Chancellor’s office.
  • Audience: Beginning Algebra and Intermediate Algebra are prerequisites to math courses that typically enroll 40-45% of our first-year students.
  • Technology: Daily computer-graded homework that counts significantly (~25%) towards the course grade.
  • Curricular integration: One major feature distinguishing our curriculum from exclusively online courses is the blending of online homework and tests with required daily classroom sessions in a dedicated, technology-enhanced classroom/tutor lab complex.
  • Monitoring: Online work is continually monitored by the student’s classroom instructor who intervenes actively as soon as a student begins to show signs of falling behind.
Evaluation Approach:
  • Software tracking for attendance, time on task, and performance; institutional data sources for retention and graduation impact have (full analysis yet to be completed). 
  • Success in first-year math courses is a strong predictor of retention into the second year of college, increasing the incentive for postsecondary schools to invest resources in a program demonstrated to impact a large proportion of incoming students. 
  • Assessment conducted by Math TLC Director and Math TLC Manager.
Potential for Replication:

Elizabeth Burmaster, Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction: “…I believe that this new program has great potential for adaptation by other schools in the University of Wisconsin System.”

The first two annual workshops were attended by 34 educators from 22 institutions in 8 states, including teams from five UW System universities, six Wisconsin technical colleges, and participants from 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in Michigan, Texas, West Virginia, Missouri, Illinois, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

Additional Resources:

Math TLC Fall 2004 – Spring 2008 Report:

Course Redesign Resources:

Math TLC My CourseCompass guest login instructions:

CEO-to-CEO Contact:Charles W. Sorensen , Chancellorsorensenc@uwstout.edu
(715) 232-2441
Date Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011