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Article

Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus

Dipartimento di Matematica, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
Academic Editors: Giorgio Bolondi, Federica Ferretti and Luis J. Rodríguez-Muñiz
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070327
Received: 27 April 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 25 June 2021 / Published: 30 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Assessing Mathematics in a Digital World)
What do you do when a change in enrollment policies leaves you with more than 600 students in a first-term university calculus class, three-quarters of those students had a failing mark in mathematics in the pre-enrollment test, you planned a series of remedial activities for the second term, and the COVID-19 pandemic shuts the university down with a two-day notice? The pandemic hit instruction with might, forcing schools and universities that were timidly experimenting with digital tools to reinvent themselves in days. The pandemic also offered incentives for creative solutions that, in normal times, would have been considered fit for submission to the committee for recursive committee submissions at best. This paper narrates a teaching experience of how we proposed and managed an at-distance remedial course in August that not only catered to more than twice the number of students expected by our best forecasts, but was a very good success once its effectiveness was compared to the outcomes predicted by the pre-enrollment test scores. We expose the design of the course and link its measured effectiveness with both its design and student engagement; in particular, we show that a different approach to the examination of cognitive load and to fostering student–teacher and student–student communication thanks to digital mediation could be effective in countermanding the math-induced drop-out phenomenon in STEM. View Full-Text
Keywords: distance learning; mathematics education; college calculus; teaching experience distance learning; mathematics education; college calculus; teaching experience
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rizzo, O.G. Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus. Educ. Sci. 2021, 11, 327. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070327

AMA Style

Rizzo OG. Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus. Education Sciences. 2021; 11(7):327. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070327

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rizzo, Ottavio G. 2021. "Making Good of a Pandemic: A Long-Distance Remedial Summer Course in Calculus" Education Sciences 11, no. 7: 327. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11070327

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