The Math Foundations Center (MFC), located in the MS building near the center of campus, consists of five classrooms, a tutoring lab, and a well-furnished computer lab containing 100 state-of-the-art computers (50 of which were provided by the Title III grant). This building is designed exclusively to serve the needs of our developmental math students.
The tutoring lab is open 44 hours per week and is available to students on a walk-in basis. The computer lab is staffed with an assistant who troubleshoots computer problems and ensures that students using the computers are assisted by tutors for the online portions of their math class. Title III Grant monies were also used to update the computer lab, tutoring lab, and five classrooms with sleek new modular furniture designed to facilitate collaborative learning in the classrooms and labs.
Three new state of the art overhead Short Throw Projectors were installed in three of the classrooms. These new projectors allow instructors to write on the white board with electronic pens and overlay graphs, pictures, and any other graphic available in electronic form. In addition, everything that was written during class may be saved in electronic form and made available to students for online access.
Surveys of students show that they believe the furniture, computer labs, and new projectors contributed to learning. Furthermore, evidence collected on classroom usage indicated that faculty were using the new modular furniture in ways which facilitated the collaborative learning approach desired with the redesign.
One promising data set shows a dramatic increase in usage of the Math Foundations Center. The year prior to the remodel, the TutorTrac system logged 595 students and 3,365 visits to the math tutoring center (Fall Semester 2011). In Fall 2012, 941 students (a 58% increase) had a total of 5,408 visits (a 60% increase) to the redesigned center. These changes can be attributed to both the curriculum design changes and the facility redesign.
According to a student survey conducted after the redesign, 89% of students agreed that the new modular furniture and the short throw projectors contributed to learning. Almost all students (97%) agreed that the new Math Foundations Lab has adequate access to math software and programs. Also, 92% of students agreed that there was sufficient space in the Math Foundations Tutoring Center for learning enhancement activities (2013 MCC Math Student Course Evaluation: Furniture, Support Tools, Lab and Tutoring, ASU Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness). Furthermore, in a facility usage study conducted by MCC’s Office of Research and Planning, 57% of observed classrooms were using the modular furniture in clusters (groups) as opposed to traditional rows (Title III Math Learning Spaces Observation Study Fall 2013, Office of Research and Planning, November 2013).
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