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Topic: Carnegie Foundation/Stanford Team Up on Remedial Math
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Carnegie Foundation/Stanford Team Up on Remedial Math
Posted: Oct 10, 2013 6:26 PM
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From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Tuesday, September 24, 2013,
p. 12. See
Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Spinoff Team Up on Remedial Math

By Katherine Mangan

A Stanford University spinoff and the Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching plan to announce a partnership on Tuesday to
expand the distribution of online remedial-mathematics courses that
so far have tripled students' success rates in half the time.

NovoEd, an online-learning start-up company that encourages students
to work in small groups and to learn from one another, teamed up with
the foundation to tackle what is widely considered a nationwide
crisis in remedial math.

More than 60 percent of students entering community college require
at least one remedial-math course before they can progress to
credit-bearing courses. Fewer than a third of those students complete
it, according to the foundation.

Over the past two years, the Carnegie Foundation has been trying to
improve those numbers through a remedial-math program involving more
than 40 community colleges and universities in at least 10 states.

Statway and Quantway, which together make up Carnegie's Pathways
Program, have allowed students to complete in one year remedial-math
sequences that used to take two years.

A Carnegie spokeswoman said that 17 percent of remedial-math students
in the colleges that make up the Statway network historically have
achieved math credit within three years, but 49 percent of those in
the Statway program did so within a single year. Results were similar
with the Quantway program.

The program's director and a senior managing partner at Carnegie,
Bernadine Chuck Fong, said in an e-mail on Monday that NovoEd's focus
on "student-centered, collaborative learning and pedagogy" meshed
with the foundation's collaborative strategies.

A Focus on Collaborative Learning

Amin Saberi, co-founder and chief executive officer of NovoEd,
agreed. "By combining forces, we can scale up the curriculum and
address this national challenge head-on," he said, also in an
interview on Monday. He is on leave from Stanford, where he is an
associate professor of management science and engineering.

NovoEd started in January 2013 as an in-house program at Stanford
called Venture Lab. Its massive open online courses have reached
about 500,000 people in more than 150 countries, Mr. Saberi said.

NovoEd differs from Coursera and Udacity, two MOOC spinoffs that were
also started by Stanford professors, in its focus on collaborative
learning, Mr. Saberi said.

In NovoEd courses, students are typically assigned to groups of four
to seven, based on their experiences and locations, to work on
problems and projects together. They're also encouraged to discuss
roadblocks they've faced in their own learning and how they've
overcome the obstacles.

In the courses, students rate one another as team members, which
gives them incentives to be active participants.

Mr. Saberi said the approach the partnership will take, which
includes studying in contexts that are relevant to students, is
particularly effective with first-generation and underprepared
students who often struggle in online courses. Remedial-math students
might, for instance, study how a 20-percent interest rate on a credit
card adds up over time.

Starting next month, Carnegie and NovoEd plan to offer free short
online courses to show how the new platform will work.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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