Grossmont College Technology Plan 2007-2010.

Technology

Math Study Center

Description
The MSC is located in the Technology Center and is comprised of two adjoining rooms, 70-112 and 70-113. The Math Study Center (MSC) functions as a place where students receive free tutoring, work on their homework, meet with study groups, work on computer-assisted tutorials and computer simulations, take practice and on-line tests, or attend workshops. The MSC is also used by instructors to create instructional materials for their classes and to meet with students needing help. Room 70-113 is primarily used as a computer lab for the Math 90 and Math 110 large lecture classes and is also used for workshops and on-line class orientations. It currently has about 40 computers and is equipped with a smart cart consisting of a computer, a TI-Presenter, a VCR, an LCD projector and screen. Room 70-112 is the main tutoring room and is also used by students to access computer-assisted tutorials and other math programs. Room 70-112 currently has about 20 student computers plus 2 additional computers, a copier, and a printer for staff use. All of the computers at the MSC contains various mathematical software programs such as MathXL (used for the Math 90 and 110 classes), MyMathLab, WinStat, NewCalc, Derive (40 licenses), Geometerís Sketchpad (10 licenses), and Maple (10 licenses).

The Math Department has been proactive in the use of the MSC in past few years. Basic skills and review workshops along with on-line class orientations are now being conducted at the MSC. More instructors have been assigning computer work for their students that can be completed at the MSC and more instructors have been conducting their office hours at the center. This expansion of services, along with more growth in the collegeís student population means that the MSC should continually find ways to ensure that it has adequate space to serve the students especially those who are seeking tutorial help, it is staffed with enough qualified tutors, and it acquires the latest and the most appropriate computer hardware, software and other learning tools and equipment. The Math Department is planning to apply for additional reassign time for a full-time faculty member from the math department to act as MSC coordinator. The MSC coordinatorís primary objective will be to bring to the center discipline specific expertise as well as the necessary instructional knowledge to further the academic support services of the MSC. The MSC coordinator will also act as a liaison between the math department and the MSC.

The math department has increased the number of on-line classes being offered in the last 2 years. This growth is anticipated to continue and with this in mind, the MSC is looking into offering online tutoring in the future and thus will need the necessary manpower, training, and equipment to support this undertaking.

Curriculum Impact

Computer technology continues to grow and change every year. More and more instructors have now incorporated the use of technology into the way they teach their classes and therefore have greatly impacted the way students learn. To keep up with this growing trend and to ensure that students and faculty function at their highest level, the technology in the MSC must constantly be evaluated and kept up to date. Software needs to be updated as new versions are published. Equally important, computer hardware must be updated to ensure that new or updated software function properly. New or updated software and hardware and other equipment will also be needed to support online tutoring in the future.

With more workshops being offered at the MSC, state-of-the-art equipment like a digital document camera must be installed to enhance the instructorís ability to present materials visually and to encourage interactivity with students.

Approximate Number of Students Served
Based on Fall 2006 data, 1,093 individual students visited the MSC for tutoring or to use the various math tutorial software located at the MSC. In addition, an average of about 200 students from the Math 90 and Math 110 large lecture classes also use the MSC to work on MathXL every semester.

Support Impact
The MSC is currently staffed by one classified Learning Assistance Center Specialist and hires approximately 20 tutors every semester. The MSC makes an effort to have at least four tutors available at any given time during its operating hours but there are days when the center cannot be fully staffed due to the lack of tutors. Because of the current number of students being served at the MSC, along with the continual growth seen in the number of MSC users every year (e.g., there was a 29% increase in usage between Fall 2005 and Fall 2006 Ė 10279 logged hours in Fall 2005 versus 13274 logged hours in Fall 2006), the MSC will require an increased number of math tutors and consequently more tutoring space in future semesters. Unless there is an adequate number of well-trained tutors on duty in the MSC, students will be frustrated and leave the MSC without receiving the help that they need to be successful in their math courses.

Because of the expansion of services offered at the MSC and the math departmentís goal to better serve the needs of its math students through the center, there is a need to have a .30 reassigned time for a full-time faculty to provide academic support for tutors, develop, administer and coordinate the academic programs and workshops offered at the MSC, assist in the hiring, training, and evaluation of tutors, evaluate and recommend hardware, software, and equipment needs, and act as a liaison between the math department and the MSC.  

Year 1 (2007-2008)

Objective

To provide adequate technical and academic support to the growing number of students that utilizes the MSC.

To provide students and instructors access to current technology and appropriate learning resources.

To ensure that the tutors and staff have the appropriate equipment and tools to run the MSC.

To provide technical and academic support to online students.

Action to Meet Objective

Assign .30 LED to a full-time math instructor to become the MSC Coordinator.

Expand the current tutoring space to accommodate the growing number of students visiting the MSC. One recommendation is to convert 70-113 into an additional tutoring room. This room will be configured much like 70-112 (chairs and tables in the middle of the room with about 20 computer workstations situated along the perimeter of the room). The Math 90 and 110 lab component of the class, workshops, and orientations can be held at Tech Mall I or II.

Hire more qualified tutors to fully staff the MSC. This equates to acquiring more funds to pay tutor salaries for an entire academic year (summer, fall and spring semesters and January intersession).

Assess current learning resources and make recommendations for purchase of new and/or replacement materials. This includes updating software and hardware installed at the MSC, acquiring more licenses to mathematical software, and purchasing a digital document camera for workshops.

Update the technology in the MSC office and purchase an all-in-one printer for staff use.

Allocate some space in the MSC and purchase the necessary equipment and software for online tutoring. This will include a high-end computer dedicated solely for online tutoring, an all-in-one printer (for scanning, printing, copying, and faxing online materials), a web cam, a tablet, and a microphone/headset.

Year 2 (2008-2009)

Objective

In addition to the objectives enumerated in Year 1, the MSC has the following additional objectives for Year 2.

To evaluate the services being offered at the MSC.

To evaluate the space usage at the MSC to ensure that students are accommodated properly.

To evaluate the role of the MSC coordinator in relation to the day-to-day operation of the MSC.

To evaluate the implementation of the online tutoring.

Action to Meet Objective

Hire more qualified tutors to fully staff the MSC. This equates to acquiring more funds to pay tutor salaries for an entire academic year (summer, fall and spring semesters and January intersession).

Conduct a student survey evaluating the services being offered at the MSC. Make necessary recommendations based on the results of the survey.

Evaluate usage of space at the MSC and for the Math 90 and Math 110 labs and reconfigure as necessary.

Evaluate the role and responsibilities of the MSC coordinator and adjust or modify accordingly.

Assess current learning resources and make recommendations for purchase of new and/or replacement materials. This includes updating software and hardware installed at the MSC, acquiring more licenses to mathematical software, and purchasing any other additional teaching and learning equipment and tools.

Keep up to date the technology in the MSC office and purchase any additional equipment necessary to support the MSC.

Evaluate the demand for online tutoring. Provide more online tutoring and purchase additional equipment as necessary to support this.

Year 3 (2009-2010)

Objective 

To provide adequate technical and academic support to the growing number of students that utilizes the MSC.

To provide students and instructors access to current technology and appropriate learning resources.

To ensure that the tutors and staff have the appropriate equipment and tools to run the MSC.

To provide technical and academic support to online students.

To improve the current services being offered at the MSC


Action to Meet Objective

Hire more qualified tutors to fully staff the MSC. This equates to acquiring more funds to pay tutor salaries for an entire academic year (summer, fall and spring semesters and January intersession).

Assess current learning resources and make recommendations for purchase of new and/or replacement materials. This includes updating software and hardware installed at the MSC, acquiring more licenses to mathematical software, and purchasing any other additional teaching and learning equipment and tools.

Keep up to date the technology in the MSC office and purchase any additional equipment necessary to support the MSC.

Provide more online tutoring and purchase additional equipment as necessary to support this.

Implement the recommendations generated from the survey conducted in year 2.


Back to table of contents