What is MATH EXCEL?
Imagine a room full of students working together in small groups as they solve relatively challenging math problems. The room is noisy; frequently there is laughter. There is lots of conversation -- about mathematics.
MATH EXCEL workshops provide an opportunity for motivated students in introductory mathematics courses (MTH 111, MTH 112, MTH 251, and MTH 252) to work together cooperatively on problems related to what they are currently studying in the course. MATH EXCEL rewards motivation and the desire to excel. MATH EXCEL students can generally be expected to do better (often much better) on their exams.
What does MATH EXCEL require?
MATH EXCEL requires that all students be prompt and faithful in their attendance at two workshops each week. Students earn additional credit on a pass / no pass basis.
MATH EXCEL requires that students work together cooperatively in small groups. In every workshop session they are expected to actively discuss, share ideas and insights, and support each other's efforts as they solve problems.
MATH EXCEL requires no extra homework outside the MATH EXCEL workshop sessions. However, they must be on pace with the course material in order to be prepared for each MATH EXCEL workshop.
What makes MATH EXCEL work?
"Students helping students to learn mathematics" is our focus. We learn best when we teach. MATH EXCEL students learn as they teach and help one another; asking questions, explaining concepts, discussing strategies, sharing frustrations and celebrating successes.
Workshop Leaders and Student Assistants guide, coach, and provide clues but do not generally tell students how to solve problems.
MATH EXCEL students must take responsibility for their own learning and the learning of their peers.
What do Students say about MATH EXCEL?
"Four heads are better than one. You learn best when you help others!"
"MATH EXCEL helps you to meet other people and see their techniques in solving difficult problems."
"To my surprise, the worksheet problems were much more complicated and required more thought than our assigned problems. They helped me understand the material at a much higher level."
"I am understanding and learning in different ways thanks to other students."
"The leaders were helpful in getting me to think it out. Doing my own thinking helps on exams and quizzes."
How can I enroll / find more information about MATH EXCEL?
Contact Dr. Thomas Dick, Professor of Mathematics, Oregon State University