Chem Professor & Grad Student Share Preliminary Findings on an Open Education Resource (OER) for Coding in Analytical Chem Course

It is no secret that large data analysis is fast becoming a necessary skill in all scientific fields, and that programming knowledge is required to carry out these analyses. However, we have identified that many science majors do not obtain training in coding within their standard curriculum, and thus perceive that these data analysis skills are out of their reach. In the Whelan Lab, we believe that it is easy and effective to include programming assignments in standard scientific undergraduate classes, which expose students to programming in the context of their familiar disciplines and allow them see how useful code can be in answering relevant scientific questions. With this inspiration, we created a web-based assignment targeted towards analytical chemistry students that walks them through increasingly involved tasks in R, a common programming language, culminating in the students writing their own code to solve interesting chemistry questions. The assignment website can be accessed here: https://weaversd.github.io/R_with_peptides_Project/.

In a pilot study, we found that the assignment was efficient, effective, and enjoyable, and that novice coders said that they planned to use R going forward in their own projects. See the ePoster below for the preliminary findings. 

Click here to zoom into a larger view of the poster and access the hyperlinks on the ePoster

About the Researchers: 

Simon Weaver is a graduate student studying genomics and proteomics in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) program at Notre Dame. His research focuses on improving the early detection of ovarian cancer.

Rebecca Whelan is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She has been teaching analytical chemistry in various forms for 15 years. Research efforts in the Whelan lab involve applying tools from bioanalytical chemistry–including microscale separations, affinity interactions, and mass spectrometry–to human health. 

Note: The ND Learning Research Team assisted with the IRB application, research/evaluation design, assignment design consultation, survey construction, analysis and poster presentation. If you are interested in contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) please contact us. 

IU Learning Analytics Summit: Inclusive Learning Analytics Framework for Student Success in an Introductory STEM Course

Duan, Xiaojing, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “Inclusive Learning Analytics Framework for Student Success in an Introductory STEM Course” Indiana University’s 3rd Annual Learning Analytics Summit: Data-informed Stories, Transformational Journeys.

To access and comment on the slides click here

Description:
We present an inclusive learning analytics framework for identifying at-risk or rather “non-thriving” students in a large-enrollment introductory general chemistry course. With the overall goals of closing opportunity gaps, maximizing all students’ potential for course success, and increasing STEM retention rates, our study used a hybrid approach of combining predictive modeling and domain experts decision-making to identify underperforming students during the early part of the course. We recognize that different institutions will have different definitions of thriving and course structures, but the methods we used in our study provide scholar-practitioners with a set of tools that can be replicated and customized for STEM courses on their campus.

IU Learning Analytics Summit: Disaggregation & Inclusive Learning Analytics Presentation

To Cite and Share this Presentation:

Ambrose, G. Alex, Goodrich, Victoria, Craker, Andrew, McWilliams, Leo (2021) “Using Disaggregation & Inclusive Curriculum Analytics to Identify Barriers, Measure Outcome Disparities, and Close Achievement Gaps.” Indiana University’s 3rd Annual Learning Analytics Summit: Data-informed Stories, Transformational Journeys: Indiana

To access and comment on the slides click here or click here to watch the 18 min recorded presentation

Abstract
We present an inclusive learning analytics framework for identifying at-risk or rather “non-thriving” students in a large-enrollment introductory general chemistry course. With the overall goals of closing opportunity gaps, maximizing all students’ potential for course success, and increasing STEM retention rates, our study used a hybrid approach of combining predictive modeling and domain experts decision-making to identify underperforming students during the early part of the course. We recognize that different institutions will have different definitions of thriving and course structures, but the methods we used in our study provide scholar-practitioners with a set of tools that can be replicated and customized for STEM courses on their campus.

Descriptions
Although identifying “at-risk” students has been a popular field of research for introductory science courses, our study expanded the current research in two areas: 1) broadening the search criteria to students who are likely non-thriving, not necessarily “at-risk” of failing the course; and 2) utilizing early and current course performance data instead of before-course characteristics. These two focus points allowed us to capture a more refined demographic of students, with the goal of helping all students to not just survive, but thrive in STEM programs.

Our study is grounded in these two research questions: (1) What are the best and earliest predictors of non-thriving learners early in the course? (2) What data-driven methods can we provide administrators and instructors to identify these students and help them improve their course performance?

To answer those research questions, we coupled the exploratory data analysis approach with decision-making by domain experts (course professors and coordinators, advisors, data scientists, and learning experts from the university’s teaching and learning center). This hybrid approach ensured campus context was taken into consideration when identifying non-thriving students. We used it to determine the potential grades cut-off for non-thriving triggers, and identify the best and earliest predictors of non-thriving performance. Our predictors were able to catch 6 out of the 6 students who dropped out of the course, and 19 out of the 33 non-thriving students. We plan to improve the accuracy of our predicting model and the effectiveness of our boosting strategies in the future iteration of our study.

References
Bentley, A. B.; Gellene, G. I. A six-year study of the effects of a remedial course in the chemistry curriculum. Journal of Chemical Education 2005, 82, 125–130.

Chan, J. Y.; Bauer, C. F. Identifying at-risk students in general chemistry via cluster analysis of affective characteristics. Journal of Chemical Education 2014, 91, 1417–1425.

Daniel House, J. Noncognitive predictors of achievement in introductory college chemistry. Research in Higher Education 1995, 36, 473–490.

Hunter, N. W. A chemistry prep course that seems to work. 1976; https://pubs.acs.org/sharingguidelines.

Kennepohl, D.; Guay, M.; Thomas, V. Using an online, self-diagnostic test for introductory general chemistry at an open university. Journal of Chemical Education 2010, 87, 1273–1277.

Presentation Recording & Slides from Duke’s Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium

To Cite, Access, Watch, and Share this Presentation:
Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “Understanding Dual Mode Teaching, Classroom, & Learner Experience During COVID -19” Duke University’s The Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium.

Check here for the 12 min recording of the presentation

To access and comment on the slide deck, click here

Abstract:
This session will share COVID dual-mode (live in-person and remote classrooms) technology-enhanced classroom, teaching, and learning experiences from the University of Notre Dame. Using survey data from over 2k students and about 30 instructors across 6 classrooms (small, medium, and large across all disciplines) we will share how our classroom upgrades performed during COVID and the implications for the future classroom post-COVID.

Research Question:
RQ1 Evaluating Dual-Mode Classroom Design: How can we improve dual-mode (in-person + live remote) classrooms during COVID and for future semesters and optimize to increase flexibility?

RQ 2 Understanding Dual-Mode Experiences: How can the experience of instructors, in-person and remote learners be improved by changes to the classroom, and what are the implications for post-COVID?

Context:
During the Fall 2020 Semester, the University of Notre Dame, like all universities, had to make adjustments to its classrooms and traditional models of teaching in order to accommodate learning in a world with COVID-19. When COVID hit in spring 2020, Notre Dame transitioned to completely online learning with no students on campus. For Fall 2020, Notre Dame adopted multiple modes of teaching for its classes, with some online, some in person, and some hybrid, with half the class attending in-person while the other half attended online. Every in-person class had the capacity to be dual-mode, with the professor and some students in-person while students who could not come to class attended live remotely. In order to allow for dual mode delivery, classrooms across campus were upgraded with new technology, including an extra computer monitor on the lectern for the instructor workstation, with new webcams and microphones. Six classrooms with 30 different courses from all major disciplines were studied. A total of 29 faculty and 1,215 students were surveyed with a small sample of interviews and observations.

Methods:
We analyzed data from multiple methods including surveys, interviews, observations, and the Learning Space Rating Score.

Related Work:
Staggs, Jessica, Ambrose, G. Alex (expected May 2021) “COVID-19’s Effects on Classrooms’ Learning Space Rating System Scores” [Upcoming Article and Infographic: http://bit.ly/lsrsCovidND]

Ambrose, G. Alex, Railton, Jason (2021) “Evaluating & Understanding the Dual Mode Classroom, Technology & Experience During COVID” University of Texas at El Paso Scholarship of Learning Conference [Slide Deck]

Stags, Jessica, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “COVID-19 Effects on Classrooms’ Learning Space Rating System Scores.”International Look at Teaching in Higher Education During COVID-19. Notre Dame International and Tel Aviv University. 

ND Learning, Notre Dame International and Tel Aviv University Collaborate on Teaching and Learning during COVID-19 International Panel. [Recording]

Ambrose, G. Alex, Ambrose, Laura Williamson (2020) “Why Notre Dame should move from a Dual-Mode mandate to an adapted HyFlex choice in response to COVID-19 course delivery for fall 2020” [Open Letter to the Provost]

Conference:
The Pandemic Pedagogy Research Symposium

UTEP Scholarship of Learning Conference: COVID’s Upgrade on ND’s Dual Mode Classroom Technology

To Access, Cite, Watch, and Share this Presentation:

Ambrose, G. Alex, Railton, Jason (2021) “Evaluating & Understanding the Dual Mode Classroom, Technology & Experience During COVID” University of Texas El Paso Scholarship of Learning Conference.  

To watch the 55 min recording click here

To access and comment on the slides click here

We are hiring: Kaneb Center Postdoctoral and Graduate Associates in Learning Research

Kaneb Center Postdoctoral and Graduate Associates in Learning Research

Description:

The ND Learning | Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence seeks graduate students and postdocs to serve as Kaneb Center Postdoctoral and Graduate Associates (PGAs) in the Research and Assessment for Learning (ReAL) Lab for the 2020-2021 academic year. The PGA will become acquainted with the fundamental concepts and core practices of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), an inquiry that examines the intersection of instruction and student learning across disciplines in higher education. 

A potential PGA would work with a team of faculty on course assessment, program/grant evaluation, conference proposals/presentations, and support articles for publication.  If hired you would participate in applied learning research and work toward submitting at least one co-authored article for publication, submitting a conference and/or grant proposal, and creating a culminating poster presentation or conducting faculty SoTL and assessment-related workshops. This position is an excellent opportunity to develop as a professional,  a teaching scholar-practitioner. For more information see the ReAL Lab blog at: https://kaneb.nd.edu/real/.

Details:

Throughout the academic year, PGAs contribute an average of 5 hours per week, scheduled

according to availability, and receive pay of $20/hour. They attend weekly meetings with Dr. G. Alex Ambrose, Director of Learning Research at Notre Dame Learning | Kaneb Center. 

Applicants should have completed one or more semesters of TAing or teaching, preferably at Notre Dame, before holding this position. Postdocs may be eligible; contact gambrose@nd.edu for more information. Advisor and DGS approval will be required before hiring is finalized. Applicants must be in residence during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. 

To apply, please submit the information below to kaneb@nd.edu by 11:59pm, Wednesday April 27, 2020. Interviews will take place in late April and early May.

– Name

– Phone

– Email

– Department

– Current year in graduate school & anticipated year of graduation

– Paragraph describing your interest in this position

Midwest SoTL Conference Poster: Visual & Predictive Analytics in Gen Chem

Click here to download or zoom in for a larger view

Citation:

Catlin Schalk, Catlin, Duan, Xiaojing, Woodard, Victoria Weber, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “Visual and Predictive Analytics for Early Identification of Non-Thriving Students in an Introductory Chemistry Course” Midwest Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) Annual Conference. Virtual.

Abstract:

We present a data-driven framework for identifying at-risk, or rather “non-thriving,” students in a large-enrollment introductory general chemistry course. This predictive learning analytic methodology was used to identify underperforming students during the early part of the course, through a hybrid approach of statistical modeling and domain expert decision making.  

Description:

Background & Lit Review

There has been a long history and large body of knowledge in pursuing our research question in post secondary chemistry education. For most of these studies, the objective was to decrease drop, fail, withdrawal (DFW) rates by classifying “at-risk” predictors and intervening before the identified students began college coursework. These predictors often took the form of cognitive characteristics, such as standardized test scores, university-made placement exams focusing on mathematical ability, prior conceptual chemistry knowledge and logical reasoning skills. (Spencer1996; Kennepohl2010; Wagner2002; Pickering1975; Bird2010; Ozsogomonyan1979). Another less objective area of inquiry was students’ affective experiences which included self-concept, attitude, and motivation (Xu2013; Chan2014; DanielHouse1995), and intervention typically involved remedial courses(Kilner2018, Walmsley1977, Bentley2005; Mason2001; Kogut1993), or preparatory courses and transition programs (Hunter1976; Krannich2977; Shields2012, Stone2018). Previous efforts at our university include identifying non-thriving students during a required first-year-experience (FYE) course (Syed2019), and an introductory engineering course (Bartolini2020). 

Research Problem

Although identifying “at-risk” students has been a popular field of research for introductory science courses, we make the distinction between “thriving” and “surviving” because the students identified in the current study are not necessarily at risk of failing the course, but they are likely to withdraw from the course or from their STEM program. How do you identify and intervene students who are not thriving while it is early enough to make improvements in the course?

Research Question

What are the best and earliest predictors of non-thriving learners early in the course, and what data-driven methods can we provide administrators and instructors to identify these students?

Method

Our hybrid approach combined exploratory data analysis to determine potential cut off points for non-thriving triggers through visualized data sets, and supervised machine learning to identify and utilize significant predictive features of students’ course success. Objective quantitative data was coupled with decision-making by domain experts (course professors and coordinators, advisors, data scientists, and learning experts from the university’s teaching and learning center). This modeling and visualization approach ensured campus context was taken into consideration when manipulating this largely data-driven approach. Our statistical analysis, suggested machine-learning models, and interactive visualizations of the multidimensional data sets are described in this section to show how we addressed our research question.

Step 1: Determine the non-thriving point for the final course grade.

1a. Collect historical performance data from the previous year.

1b. Visualize data into a grade distribution chart.

1c. Set the non-thriving point.

Step 2: Determine the best and earliest predictors of non-thriving students based on historical data.

2a. Collect historical performance data from the previous year and identify all non-thriving students.

2b. Model student data to identify the performance features most correlated to non-thriving performance.

2c. Visualize the data to determine the specific cut-off ranges. 

Step 3: Replicate and improve the model early on during the current course.

3a. Export gradebook data for the current set of students at the data collection time point

3b. Filter the data to identify the students whose performance matched the predicted trigger for non thriving students from the previous year.

The earliest performance triggers for non-thriving grades ranked greatest to least from left to right.

Results & Conclusion

Student performance data was used to create learning analytics visuals to aid in discovering trends among non-thriving students, while domain experts made decisions about appropriate cut-off points to classify non-thriving performance. With the overall goals of closing opportunity gaps, maximizing all students’ potential for success in the course, and increasing STEM retention rates, we use student admissions and performance data visuals to ultimately create an environment that better supports all first semester chemistry students, and early on in the course. 

Previous efforts to increase STEM retention rates have centered around identifying “at-risk” students before the course begins, based on admissions data. In this paper, we expanded the efforts of the current research in two areas: 1) broadening the search criteria to students who are likely non-thriving, not necessarily “at-risk” of failing the course; and 2) utilizing early and current course performance data instead of before-course characteristics. These two focus points allowed us to capture a more refined demographic of students, with the goal of helping all students to not just survive, but thrive in STEM programs. These methods better prepared us to support all students based on their performance in class, not just their before-course attributes, many of which are inherently biased and cannot account for many contextual differences. Additionally, in our approach to organizing data into interactive visual representations, we made our methods accessible to all faculty and administrators so that context-driven decisions can be made for the course. 

With a largely data-driven approach, we sought to answer the research question: What are the best and earliest predictors of non-thriving learners early in the course, and what tools can we provide administrators and instructors to identify these students? Through a K- Nearest Neighbor modeling approach with one semester of data, it was determined that the best performance predictors of non-thriving students was 2 or more below-average homework scores, and an exam 1 score below 81. However, using these exact cutoffs did not appear to be the best strategy for identifying students in the following semester.  A method of iterative refinement was implemented to update the appropriate selection criteria and will continue to be used until our model is fined tuned.

As we collect data from more semesters,  we plan to continue to use of this iterative refinement on our model to determine the best set of assignments and amount of time needed to accurately predict the non-thriving status of our students.  The methods we have described here provide scholar-practitioners with a set of tools that can be replicated and customized for STEM courses on their campus. We recognize that different institutions will have different definitions of thriving, and course structures. We provide examples specific to our institution for context, but we encourage those that seek to utilize our method to customize this process to one that fits the specifics of their institution.  This will entail using data-driven approaches to identify a thriving cutoff point, suggesting a cutoff date and number of assignments for identifying non-thriving students, and implementing best-practice intervention approaches to offer students non-thriving students a boost. 

References 

Bentley, A. B.; Gellene, G. I. A six-year study of the effects of a remedial course in the chemistry curriculum. Journal of Chemical Education 2005, 82, 125–130.

Chan, J. Y.; Bauer, C. F. Identifying at-risk students in general chemistry via cluster analysis of affective characteristics. Journal of Chemical Education 2014, 91, 1417–1425.

Daniel House, J. Noncognitive predictors of achievement in introductory college chemistry. Research in Higher Education 1995, 36, 473–490.

Hunter, N. W. A chemistry prep course that seems to work. 1976; https://pubs.acs.org/sharingguidelines.

Kennepohl, D.; Guay, M.; Thomas, V. Using an online, self-diagnostic test for introductory general chemistry at an open university. Journal of Chemical Education 2010, 87, 1273–1277.

Kilner, W. C. ConfChem Conference on Mathematics in Undergraduate Chemistry Instruction: The Chem-Math Project. Journal of Chemical Education 2018, 95, 1436–1437.

Kogut, L. S. A general chemistry course for science and engineering majors with marginal academic preparation. Journal of Chemical Education 1993, 70, 565–567.

Krannich, L. K.; Patick, D.; Pevear, J. A pre-general chemistry course for the under-prepared student. Journal of Chemical Education 1977, 54, 730–735.

Mason, D.; Verdel, E. Gateway to Success for At-Risk Students in a Large-Group Introductory Chemistry Class. Journal of Chemical Education 2001, 78, 252–255.

Ozsogomonyan, A.; Loftus, D. Predictors of general chemistry grades. Journal of Chemical Education 1979, 56, 173–175.

Pickering, M. Helping the high risk freshman chemist. Journal of Chemical Education 1975, 52, 512–514.

Shields, S. P.; Hogrebe, M. C.; Spees, W. M.; Handlin, L. B.; Noelken, G. P.; Riley, J. M.; Frey, R. F. A transition program for underprepared students in general chemistry: Diagnosis, implementation, and evaluation. Journal of Chemical Education 2012, 89, 995–1000.

Stone, K. L.; Shaner, S. E.; Fendrick, C. M. Improving the success of first term general chemistry students at a liberal arts institution. Education Sciences 2018, 8, 5.

Spencer, H. E. Mathematical SAT test scores and college chemistry grades. Journal of Chemical Education 1996, 73, 1150–1153.

Syed, M.; Duan, X.; Anggara, T.; Alex Ambrose, G.; Lanski, A.; Chawla, N. V. Integrated closed-loop learning analytics scheme in a first year experience course. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. New York, New York, USA, 2019; pp 521–530.

Wagner, E. P.; Sasser, H.; DiBiase, W. J. Predicting students at risk in general chemistry using pre-semester assessments and demographic information. Journal of Chemical Education 2002, 79, 749.

Walmsley, F. A course for the underprepared chemistry student. Journal of Chemical Education 1977, 54, 314–315.

Xu, X.; Villafane, S. M.; Lewis, J. E. College students’ attitudes toward chemistry, conceptual knowledge and achievement: Structural equation model analysis. Chemistry Education Research and Practice 2013, 14, 188–200.

Acknowledgements

Dan Gezelter, Kevin Abbott, and Pat Miller 

Midwest SoTL Poster: Teaching Foreign Language in an Active Learning Classroom

Click here to download or zoom in

Citation:
Serafini, Tiziana, , Rouamba, Guieswende, Ambroe, G. Alex (2021) “Translating Authentic Italian Text in a Technology-Enhanced Active Learning Classroom” Midwest Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) Annual Conference. Virtual.

Abstract:
Beyond textbook readings: Are you interested to see how learning and teaching transform in a state-of-the-art active learning classroom? Through this poster presentation, you will be able to learn how integrating reading strategies into instruction in an active learning classroom made beginners enthusiastic about reading an authentic book in Italian.

Context:

In the summer of 2017, the University of Notre Dame was awarded a $65K furniture grant from Steelcase Educations’s Active Learning Center. Notre Dame’s Office of Facilities Design and Operations contributed $50k in classroom renovation funding and the Office of Information Technologies $25K in technology funding to renovate Debartolo Hall 232 into a state-of-the-art prototype flexible classroom to maximize interactive learning.

Research Goal:
Increase student confidence in reading authentic texts through instructional strategies in an online platform.

Research Questions:
• RQ1: Does the teaching of reading strategies enable elementary-level learners to successfully understand and translate an authentic Italian text without external aids?
• RQ2: How does technology support the development of reading skills in lower-level classes?

Lit Review:
Over the last few years, the shift toward a communicative classroom has resulted in reading being relegated to “the wayside” (Aski, 2000, p. 495). Despite being “one of the most obvious source of authentic FL language,” (idem) reading is often shunned by teachers and learners alike. Teachers may find it challenging to expose their students to unfamiliar vocabulary and grammatical structures, and students, in turn, may feel frustrated at syntactical and lexical complexity. How to come out of this gridlock? Some researchers chose to focus on text types and reading skills (Lee and Musumeci, 1988, p. 174). They asked whether establishing a hierarchy of text types and a corresponding hierarchy of reading skills constitutes an accurate tool to assess reading performance. Others turned their attention to the learners themselves, and analyzed the relationship between L1 (skill proficiency in ) and L2 (language knowledge) in successful readers (Bernhardt and Kamil, 1995).

Another line of inquiry centers upon cognitive psychology, and examines the ways in which learners and teachers can tackle authentic texts by learning and teaching reading strategies. Carrell and Eisterhold argue that at an elementary level “low-proficiency readers are more word-bound and [..] for them meaning tends to break down at the word level.” (1983). Schulz confirms that low-proficiency readers “engage in word-by-word decoding and translation,” (1983) and are often unable to gain a general understanding of a text. For this reason, Aski proposes teaching elementary-level students those strategies that focus on global meaning (top-down strategies). In contrast to bottom-up strategies, which concentrate on discrete, and oftentimes too challenging linguistic elements, top-down strategies allow readers the possibility to make logical inferences about general aspects of a text. Readers can then use that knowledge as a starting point against which they can test comprehension accuracy.

Is it, however, viable and constructive to also teach bottom-up strategies at a lower level? Is it possible for low-proficiency readers to apply both bottom-up and top-down strategies to an authentic text that is well above their reading level?

Methodology
A combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Scholarly references
Aski, Janice. “Effective Integration of Reading in the Communicative Italian (FL) Classroom,” Italica, 77, No. 4, (Winter 2000): 495-508.

Bernhardt, Elizabeth, and Michael Kamil (1995). “Interpreting Relationships between L1 and L2 Reading:Consolidating the Linguistic Threshold and the Linguistic Interdependence Hypotheses.” Applied Linguistics 16 (1995): 15-34.

Carrell, Patricia, and Joan Eisterhold, “Schema Theory and ESL Reading Pedagogy.” TESOL Quarterly 17(1983): 553-573.

Lee, James and Diane Musumeci, “On Hierarchies of Reading Skills and Text Types.” The Modern Language Journal 72 (1988):173-87.

ND Learning, Notre Dame International and Tel Aviv University Collaborate on Teaching and Learning during COVID-19 International Panel.

When COVID-19 became a global pandemic in the spring of 2020, learning as we knew it changed worldwide. Universities worldwide were affected and had to make split-second decisions as shutdowns started worldwide. In the fall of 2020, online learning or modified learning became the “new normal” as we all attempted what we thought was best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while allowing education as best as possible. Before COVID-19, the University of Notre Dame and Tel Aviv University had been working together to create an international partnership in research on teaching and learning. Like everything else, this shifted focus during the pandemic. 

With sponsorship from the Schlindwein Family Tel Aviv University – Notre Dame Research Grant Collaboration, a partnership between Notre Dame and Tel Aviv University had already been developed before the pandemic. Even as learning and research shifted in 2020 and international travel was essentially halted, the partnership allowed both schools an avenue to continue and share their research. Thanks to this partnership, ND International, and ND Learning, the universities were able to share their work from fall 2020 in a virtual panel held March 17, 2021. 

The full recording can be accessed here

The two schools developed different teaching models for the fall reopening, with TAU remaining entirely online and off campus while ND shifted mainly to dual mode learning, with the professor and some students in the classroom while those unable to attend joined live remotely. Research at the universities followed these shifts. At Notre Dame, research was done on how well classrooms facilitated active learning pre- and during COVID-19 as well as how active learning compared across the online, dual mode, and in-person learning environments according to the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System. Qualitative research focused on how students and professors responded to dual mode learning, how effective dual mode instruction was, and which aspects of the classroom environment and technology were most important during COVID-19. Research from Tel Aviv discussed the methods and adjustments that instructors had to make during COVID-19, including changing class policies, taking more care to reach out to students who were away from school and learning remotely, and overall changes to the learning community. Their presentations also discussed data-driven decision making during remote learning and what academic, emotional, and accessibility changes had to be made in moving from face to face to emergency remote teaching. 

Research Topics & Speakers

INSTRUCTORS’ REFLECTIONS ABOUT LEARNERS’ DATA IN ONLINE EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING

Maya Usher, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, TAU School of Education

Arnon Hershkovitz, Ph.D. (Schlindwein Grant Co-PI), Senior Lecturer, TAU School of Education

EFFECTS ON CLASSROOMS’ LEARNING SPACE RATING SYSTEM SCORES

Jessica Staggs, Research Assistant, ND Learning ReAL Lab

G. Alex Ambrose, Ph.D. (Schlindwein Grant Co-PI), ND Learning | Kaneb Center

EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING: CAMPUS-WIDE TRANSITION AND INSTRUCTORS’ PERSPECTIVE

Tal Soffer, Ph.D. (Schlindwein Grant Co-PI), Head of Virtual TAU – The Center for Digital Pedagogy

UNDERSTANDING DUAL MODE TEACHING AND LEARNING

Daphne Saloome, Research Assistant, ND Learning ReAL Lab

G. Alex Ambrose, Ph.D. (Schlindwein Grant Co-PI), ND Learning | Kaneb Center

STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES OF THE SHIFT TO REMOTE LEARNING

Anat Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, TAU School of Education

Acknowledgements

Tim Schlindwein 

Geraldine Meehan 

Colleen Wilcox 

Dyann Mawhorr 

Allie Richthammer 

Blog post by Jessica Staggs, ReAL Lab Undergraduate Research Assistant.

How to access slides and cite:

Saloomey, Daphne, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “Evaluating & Understanding the Dual Mode Classroom & Experience During COVID” International Look at Teaching in Higher Education During COVID-19. Notre Dame International and Tel Aviv University.


Stags, Jessica, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) “COVID-19 Effects on Classrooms’ Learning Space Rating System Scores.”International Look at Teaching in Higher Education During COVID-19. Notre Dame International and Tel Aviv University.

Inclusive Curriculum Analytics AAC&U Conference Poster

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Click “Present” in top right hand to view as full screen.

AAC&U Conference Poster eHandout, 2/11/21

Citation:

Goodrich, Victoria, McWilliams, Leo, Ambrose, G. Alex (2021) One College’s Experience: Exposing Inequities Caused by Pre-Matriculation Credit Earning Policies. AAC&U Virtual Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment: Embracing the Best Emerging Practices for Quality and Equity.

Title:

Inclusive Curriculum Analytics for Undergraduate STEM Degrees: Using data to identify barriers, measure outcome disparities, and close achievement gaps

Abstract:

As formal credit earning opportunities grow, such as through credit by examination, it’s imperative that institutions understand how their advanced placement credit acceptance policies shape their students’ experiences on campus. While most schools have focused on how students with advanced credit perform in the follow on classes, fewer have focused on how these policies affect students without the same opportunities. This case study will answer: how do credit acceptance policies shape the student academic experience within one College of Engineering? The poster will focus on how one College of Engineering identified inequities through data driven study of students’ college performance as it relates to their credits earned prior to matriculation. It will provide a roadmap for other institutions to investigate their own student data as it pertains to current policies.

Background, Problem, & Evidence:

More and more students begin college having earned multiple college credits. As formal credit earning opportunities grow, such as through credit by examination, it is imperative that colleges and universities understand how their credit acceptance policies shape their students’ experiences on campus. While many studies have focused on program benefits such as additional schedule flexibility, less time to degree, and exposure to advanced topics, few have quantified the collateral impact of credit earning opportunities on the students that do not have credit when entering college. By not specifically quantifying and understanding this, it is easy to perpetuate or expand an achievement gap that started well before students enter college.

In this session, we will show how one College of Engineering used student performance data to identify and understand potential inequities in existing policy decisions. By accepting credit in required courses, in this case calculus, chemistry and physics, two groups were formed: (1) students that were ahead of the stated curriculum and (2) students that were executing the curriculum as published and expected. Looking at shared courses between these two tracks, such as physics or sophomore level engineering courses, exposed real and concerning disparities in grade performance from this policy. This session will present data from this study and describe a methodology for creating similar data analysis at other schools and within a wide range of programs. 

Expanded Figures from the poster:

CoursePathVis is a visual analytical tool for exploring and analyzing students’ progress through a college curriculum using a Sankey diagram. We group students in multiple ways (by their AP courses, term courses, and a user-specified fun-nel course) to offer different perspectives on the underlying data. With these flexible grouping techniques and the funnel-augmented Sankey diagram, CoursePathVis helps us identify patterns or outliers that affect student success.”

Resources & Related Work:

Forthcoming ASEE Article (check back soon)

Instructional Umbrella IRB

Bartolini, A.; Running, C.; Duan, X.; Ambrose, G. Integrated Closed-Loop Learning Analytics Scheme in a First-Year Engineering Course. 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access Proceedings. 2020.

Duan, Xiaojing, Ambrose, G. Alex, Wang, Chaoli, Abbott, Kevin, Woodard, Victoria, Young, Kelley (2020) Learning Analytics for Inclusive STEM Student Success. Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference. Practitioner Report and Poster. Frankfurt, Germany

Duan, Xiaojing, Ambrose, G. Alex, Wang, Chaoli, Abbott, Kevin, Woodard, Victoria, Schalk, Catlin (2020) PerformanceVis: Homework & Exam Analytics Dashboard for Inclusive Student Success. Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference. Practitioner Demo. Frankfurt, Germany

Ambrose, G. Alex, Duan, Xiaojing, Abbott, Kevin, Woodard, Victoria (2019) Inclusive Learning Analytics to Improve STEM Student Success. EDUCAUSE Main Conference, Chicago, IL

Syed, M., Anggara, T., Duan, X., Lanski, A., Chawla, N. & Ambrose, G. A. (2018) Learning Analytics Modular Kit: A Closed Loop Success Story in Boosting Students. Proceedings of the International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge

Presenters Bio & Contact Info:

Victoria Goodrich, Associate Teaching Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Leo McWilliams, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, College of Engineering

G. Alex Ambrose, Director of Learning Research, ND Learning | Kaneb Center for Teaching Excellence

Acknowledgements:

Andrew Craker, Pat Miller, Kevin Abbott, Kevin Barry, Alex Oxner, Augie Freda, Shelin Mathews, Ryan Snodgrass, Keith Mcindoo, Roberto Casarez, Joel Dosmann, Chaoli Wang, Brendan O’Handley, Michael Niemier, Morgan Ludwig and Samantha Allison