Algebra Instruction at Community Colleges: An Exploration of its Relationship with Student Success (AI@CC)
Primary Investigator(s): Vilma Mesa
Funding Agency: Maricopa County Community College District
Period: 5/15/2016 - 4/30/2019
Algebra Instruction at Community Colleges: An Exploration of its Relationship with Student Success (AI@CC) This mixed methods study seeks to investigate the conditions under which instruction in community college algebra courses can be associated with student learning gains and course performance. It involves six community colleges from three states, Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota, and focuses on three key algebra topics: linear equations, rational equations, and exponential equations. The project will connect both levels of the classroom (students and instructors) in a model that examines personal characteristics of both groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, educational background, student mathematics knowledge, and beliefs about mathematics) and aspects of classroom interaction (e.g., quality of mathematics, quality of instruction). The work will advance the understanding of teaching with diverse populations and provide information about possible ways to alter classroom interactions. This work also contributes to the body of knowledge of the link between the complex resources deployed during teaching and community college students’ learning and performance. The results will highlight the critical conditions under which key notions in algebra are taught in community colleges and raise awareness of the need to support community college faculty as they strive to improve their practice.