Investigating Preparedness for Calculus and the Academic Essentials Program – Warren Code (Mar 3, 2022)

This week (Thursday, 2-3pm, Zoom) our LAVA session will be led by Warren Code, the Associate Director at Skylight.

From Warren:

Running for the six weeks from early July to the start of Jumpstart in mid-August, the Academic Essentials program ( ) launched in Summer 2020 as a set of three optional Canvas courses intended to help incoming undergraduate students to prepare for their first year at UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.  I was one of the developers of the “Readiness for University Mathematics” course, providing a review of mathematical concepts and practice of associated skills as well as recommendations for studying and other engagement in a first Calculus course at UBC.  In this session, I will be describing our approach so far in evaluating this review course in terms of outcomes in the credit-carrying math courses in the Fall term, where we are drawing on a self-assessment taken at the start of the course, student activity in Canvas and WeBWorK (the online homework system where most of the practice occurs), and some diagnostic measurements taken in the Calculus courses that have been running for several years now.


Our key questions are:

– Does the summer review course bolster students’ pre-calculus skills?

– How does participation in the summer impact students’ success in their Fall term Calculus course?

– How prepared are our incoming students in the last few cohorts?

I will discuss some preliminary findings for the first two questions from the 2020 cohort as we are preparing to add data from the 2021 cohort later this term.  Our main team so far for this analysis is myself, Zohreh Moradi (Skylight’s Research Analyst) and Costanza Piccolo (Associate Professor of Teaching in Mathematics and one of the other co-developers of the “Readiness for University Mathematics” course).


Spam prevention powered by Akismet