The City Tech NSF I-Cubed Incubator Blog

Summary of the City Tech I-Cubed Retreat, 9.11.09

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The discussion notes in the posts below (Discussions 1 and 2) are the result of the short brain-storming group sessions (Groups 1 and 2) that lasted about 25-30 minutes during our I-Cubed Retreat on September 11, 2009. They were posted in real time and discussed further by the whole group in order to get some basic understanding and additional ideas for launching the I-Cubed project at City Tech. Comments are welcome.  

Written by vkolchenko

September 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

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Discussion 2, Group 1

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Discussion Questions for NSF I3 Retreat – Session II:

Role of Partnerships, Integration of Visualization Tools and Online Activities

 Partnerships

  • What criteria are used in your department for selecting external Partners, including Advisory Commission members and others?

 Relevance of the organization profile to the profile of the department

Willinigness to commit

Internship & employement opportunities

  • How does the partnership benefit the department?

Internships, jobs

Curriculum updates

Collboration in research & development

 

How does the partnership benefit the students?

Internships: experience, cutting-edge skills, culture

employment, resume-building

  • How is a relationship to the department beneficial to a Partner?

 understanding the educational level of the graduates, providing a feedback guiding the educational development, influencing curricula development

civic responsibility

prepared future workforce, identifying potential/prospective employees

  • How does the partnership affect the curriculum?

 extract from the above

Visualization: Data-driven graphical information display

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools for course development? If so, provide examples.

 No

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools for course management? If so, provide examples.

 ?

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools in the classroom as an instructional aid? If so, provide examples

 Yes, Alice (CST)

  • Do faculty members teach the principles and use of visualization tools and techniques to students?

 On a basic level

  • Are students in classes required to learn the hands–on direct use of visualization?

 on a basic level in some classes

Online Activities including Remote Access, Remote Collaboration, Blogs, Wikis and media streams or media repositories

 

  • Do faculty members use online tools for course development? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 Yes. Blackboard, Internet

  • Do faculty members use online tools for course management? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 Yes, Blackboard, Wiki, Blogs

  • Do faculty members use online tools in the classroom as an instructional aid?  If so, provide examples.

Light or Heavy use?

  • Do faculty members teach the principles and use of online tools and techniques to students? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 Yes, but often superficially

  • Are students in classes required to learn the hands–on direct use of online tools? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

Written by vkolchenko

September 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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Discussion 2, Group 2

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Discussion Questions for NSF I3 Retreat – Session II:

Role of Partnerships, Integration of Visualization Tools and Online Activities

 Partnerships

  • What criteria are used in your department for selecting external Partners, including Advisory Commission members and others?

 math – advisory board. Criteria: personal relationship is most likely. Second: mathematical field

  • How does the partnership benefit the department?

 Math; Good projects provided by partner – coming from the internship level. These are used as example problems  in other classes.

Curriculum and materials evaluation influenced, for example SAS

  • How does the partnership benefit the students?

 Intership required for applied math, elective in AAS

  • How is a relationship to the department beneficial to a Partner?

Able to evaluate potential employees.

Feedback from curriculum outcomes witnessed in students at intern level.

  • How does the partnership affect the curriculum?

1.  Real-world problems. Can tell with 100% certainty that this is accurate.

2. Keep course materials/syllabi up to date.

How formal is the relationship/process – hard to get Partners to work with you because this is a secondary relationship.

Visualization: Data-driven graphical information display

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools for course development? If so, provide examples.

Books with visualizations embedded; uniformioty in department: in syllabus and everyone uses the same matlab or sketchpad examples in classes

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools for course management? If so, provide examples.

 Blackboard

  • Do faculty members use visualization tools in the classroom as an instructional aid? If so, provide examples

math: yes – matlab, maple, mathematica, SAS, SPSS, sketchpad

Bio: anatomy & physiology, chemistry – 3d structures of molecules;

  • Do faculty members teach the principles and use of visualization tools and techniques to students?

ie. visualization as a subject: “numbers being translated”.   Math: not alone but its embedded. sketch of a dynamical system (graph on computer) – make observations first, then modify parameters..

Students may not remember cases but they can sketch the visualizations and can annotate them accurately

  • Are students in classes required to learn the hands–on direct use of visualization?

 physics: landing lunar modules, Newtonian

physchology: virtual lab rats — students train to go through maze, etc.;  Biology: dissections.

Online Activities including Remote Access, Remote Collaboration, Blogs, Wikis and media streams or media

  • Do faculty members use online tools for course development? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 homework management system — WebAssign: on the web — create a course account and upload your book cartridge, and students can access when thy purchase the textbook.

Extra cost for students, not used uniformly. Custom made calulus books do not come with the code linked.

  • Do faculty members use online tools for course management? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 Same as above — can control who is doing what assignment, when. Homeworks, exams, video examples are all provided. Controlled number od submisssions to improve their incorrect answers, etc.

Heavy.

  • Do faculty members use online tools in the classroom as an instructional aid?  If so, provide examples.

Light or Heavy use?

  • Do faculty members teach the principles and use of online tools and techniques to students? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

 embedded

  • Are students in classes required to learn the hands–on direct use of online tools? If so, provide examples. Light or Heavy use?

See WebAssign above. 90% use 10% frustrated. some cannot get access.

Written by vkolchenko

September 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm

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Discussion 1, Group 1

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Guiding Questions for Creating a Multi-dimensional Model of Laboratory Instruction

1. A component of the I-3 grant activity is creation of a multi-dimensional model of STEM laboratory experiences. Some possible topics to be mapped in the model are listed below.

What topics do you feel should be part of the multi-dimensional model of laboratory instruction?

a. Content

- maybe not a dimension, but something dimensions are applied to

- not quantitative but qualitative

- dimensions should be universal, not content-dependent

b. Level of complexity and problem solving skills required

- 2 separate points

- each can be quantified

c. Level of skills challenge

- professional skills

- 5-point scale

d. Pedagogical approach including active learning strategies, incorporation of faculty research, extracurricular and internship connections, etc.

- 3 separate modes:  in class (lab), research, internship

- descriptive dimension, not quantitative

e. Use of technology

- sufficient/insufficient

- up-to-date/not up-to-date

- level of relevance

f. information literacy requirements

- scale

- what level of information technology literacy is required by the content / teaching goals

g. Multidisciplinarity and modularity of the lab and relation to workforce needs

- yes/no (multidisciplinarity)

- # of disciplines involved

- need qualitative descriptor as well

h. Demands of the lab in terms of student’s time and effort

- absolute # hours spent in lab

- % of course

i. Placement (year of study) in the student’s program and the relationship to its prerequisites and other courses for which this course is a prerequisites

- a number for year (and semester) of study

- # prerequisites

- # courses this course is required for

j. Others

Follow-up, after some topics for the model are identified:

2. What parameters and measures would you recommend to describe the topics above, or those that were chosen as the appropriate topics?

Written by vkolchenko

September 11, 2009 at 2:24 am

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Discussion 1, Group 2

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Guiding Questions for Creating a Multi-dimensional Model of Laboratory Instruction

1. A component of the I-3 grant activity is creation of a multi-dimensional model of STEM laboratory experiences. Some possible topics to be mapped in the model are listed below.

What topics do you feel should be part of the multi-dimensional model of laboratory instruction?

a. Content

math modeling (“dimension”)

lab environment in math: read statement and come up with a function/equation, and determine methods, do not concern about solving them. –> Model vocabulary

Peer leaders: how to practice leading students to learn

b. Level of complexity and problem solving skills required

math: make students think: convert from written statement to model (not a recipe)

Bloom’s third level of comprehension

c. Level of skills challenge

Bloom: application level, or higher

need to put into model — examples of levels in different fields. Group was not sure how to anchor this formally.

d. Pedagogical approach including active learning strategies, incorporation of faculty research, extracurricular and internship connections, etc. ,

Pose big theorums as question of the day, not as a theorum, and then ask them to think about it and discover the main idea.

Worksheets, significant problems for the day …students provide feedback.

How to measure and quantify the laboratory experience?

e. Use of technology

matlab and maple, would like to use mathematic: how much used:

Slides prepared for financial math classes as handouts.

FIE conference most innovative technology…tablet software intercommunication.

Blackboard, discussion form with journals online. Comments from student to student.

Email questions are difficult to answer in email, cannot type symbols. Tablet with stylus writing to MS Word, send to students.

f. information literacy requirements

information as a layer.

Library, research, computer lab usage all heavy in higher level math.

Calculus and lower not so many literacy requirements.

Beyond Blackboard — reduce things to low tech and enc0urage discussion.

Kolb: Cycle theory: Concrete activity, Discussion, Form Theory, Apply it.

NSF Grant CASPIE: now updating their books to bring active learning into lab.

Univ. Buffalo case studies.

g. Multidisciplinarity and modularity of the lab and relation to workforce needs

3 different concentrations: financial, biological and IT math. Homework is three projects for semester, depends upon students’ individual concentrations. No connections to industrial partners. Have to present their work as a Technical Report to be understood by a 3rd party — working with writing fellow.

Peer assisted learning program is multidisciplinary: being used in multiple Professional Studies fields.

h. Demands of the lab in terms of student’s time and effort

Time requirements of an assignment: math – 1 to 2 weeks.

Journal each week: readings, class activity and how they practice those as workshop leaders. Final presentation poster: examine something they liked in terms of a learning theory. Self-reflective/ self-observing: “Reflective practitioner” (D. Schon)

i. Placement (year of study) in the student’s program and the relationship to its prerequisites and other courses for which this course is a prerequisites

Alignment of curriculum and evaluation of prereqs

Math: detailed class roster – all courses that all students have taken. Main problem is not the prereqs but the recall from previous courses. Lots of backtracking required.

Changing of amount of time devoted to various prerequisites rather than addressign uniformly.

Silo issue and granularity of curriculum. How much do you share in common in a foundation class for the diverse upper level concentrations.

j. Others

Follow-up, after some topics for the model are identified:

2. What parameters and measures would you recommend to describe the topics above, or those that were chosen as the appropriate topics?

Written by vkolchenko

September 11, 2009 at 2:23 am

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Introduction

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This is a blog for the NSF-funded I-Cubed Incubator at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York.

Written by vkolchenko

September 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

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