Renovations and technology add to student success in mathematics
On the second floor of the Cromwell Communications Center at Mississippi University for Women, students will find a renovated active learning classroom filled with 30 computers, two large monitors, cameras and a smart board.
“Students are able to participate in lectures, hands-on activities and computer-based homework all in the same class space. With this kind of work flow, students are able to make efficient use of their time, which leads to increased engagement and successful outcomes,” said Kelly Hollowell, intermediate mathematics developer for The W’s Student Success Center.
Designated for mathematics, the lab is specifically for students taking intermediate math courses and college algebra.
According to Hollowell, the active learning classroom offers numerous benefits to students. She said the new space provides students an opportunity to discuss new concepts, problem solve with peers, and reflect on their learning.
Hollowell said, “An active learning setting pulls students out of their comfort zone by creating an environment where risk taking is encouraged. As they get more comfortable sharing their thoughts and building on each other’s ideas, they gain confidence.”
Seating a total of 46 students, the renovation of the classroom was funded by Mississippi University for Women’s Title III project. Funded by the Department of Education, Title III helps eligible institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.
With the mission “Enhancing Student Success through Redesigned Curriculum, Enhanced Support, and Improved Academic Advising,” a key goal of The W’s Title III Grant was to increase the success and retention of incoming freshmen, including at-risk students.
“The math courses are an essential component of the university’s core curriculum. Additionally, the Intermediate Math course was specifically targeted by the Title III project due to historically low pass rates. The lower pass rates negatively affect student retention, graduation and success,” said Dr. David Brooking, executive director of enrollment management and former director of the Title III project. “We have seen exponential improvement in the MA 100 pass rates over the life of the Title III project.”