Some new blended learning techniques and adaptive software are preparing students for college level math, closing a nationwide readiness gap.
A few years ago, Tennessee had the problem that 75 percent of graduating high school seniors were not ready for college level math. model was not working.”
Across the USA, college math readiness is a pervasive problem at higher ed institutions. Tennessee is not the only state that has the problem of students not being prepared.
When students arrive at college, those who are not prepared myst take developmental classes to catch up. Many never pass those courses. Just this year, ACT reported that 57 percent of ACT tested high school graduates in the United States filed to meet math readiness benchmarks.
But by combining college and high school math content in an online environment taught in high school computer labs, educators in the state of Tennessee believe they have found a solution.
“It was clear that this was not acceptable and something needed to be done,” said Robert Denn, dean of honors and special programs at Chattanooga State Community College (CSCC). “The lecture and homework
To attack the problem head-on, the state piloted a blended learning program called SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support). By aligning and embedding the Tennessee Board of Regents college developmental competencies with the Tennessee Department of Education bridge math standards, SAILS essentially moves the developmental math course from college into the senior year of high school.
Developed by high school teachers and community college instructors, the self-paced math course is designed for low-scoring students with college aspirations. Students learn online in a school computer lab with a teacher on hand to help. Those who successfully complete the course are deemed ready to take a college math course, saving them time and money.