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      Factors contributing to students and instructors experiencing a lack of time in college calculus

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          Abstract

          Background

          Calculus is a foundational course for STEM-intending students yet has been shown to dissuade students from pursuing STEM degrees. In this report, we examine factors related to students and instructors reporting a lack of time in class for students to understand difficult ideas and relate this to students’ and instructors’ perceptions of opportunities to learn using a hierarchical linear model. This work is part of the US national study on college calculus, which provides an ideal landscape to examine these questions on a large scale.

          Results

          We find a number of student factors associated with students experiencing negative opportunities to learn, such as student gender, lacking previous calculus experience, and reports of poor and non-student-centered teaching. Factors weakly associated with instructor reports of lack of time were a common final and reporting that approximately half of the students lacked the ability to succeed in the course.

          Conclusions

          This analysis offers insight into how we might create more positive opportunities to learn in our own classrooms. This includes preparing students before they enter calculus, so they feel confident in their abilities, as well as weakening the internal framing of the course by engaging in teaching practices that provide students opportunities to communicate and influence their learning (e.g., discussion and group work). We argue that this is especially important in introductory college calculus courses that are packed with material, taught to a diverse population of students in terms of demographics, mathematical preparation, and career goals.

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          Most cited references 25

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (970) 491-5442 , jess.ellis@colostate.edu
                strej@vt.edu
                bailey.fosdick@colostate.edu
                Journal
                Int J STEM Educ
                Int J STEM Educ
                International Journal of Stem Education
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                2196-7822
                14 June 2017
                14 June 2017
                2017
                : 4
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8083, GRID grid.47894.36, Department of Mathematics, , Colorado State University, ; 1874 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1874 USA
                [2 ]Department of Mathematics, Virgina Tech University, 460 McBryde Hall, Virginia Tech, 225 Stanger Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0123 USA
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8083, GRID grid.47894.36, Department of Statistics, , Colorado State University, ; 102 Statistics Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1877 USA
                70
                10.1186/s40594-017-0070-7
                6310462
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000172, Division of Undergraduate Education;
                Award ID: 0910240
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

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