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COURSE ASSESSMENT REPORT
SEMESTER/YEAR: Fall 2010
DEPARTMENT: Mathematics
COURSE TITLE: Math 108/Differential Equations
PARTICIPANTS (min. 2): Charlotte Schulten
COURSE-LEVEL SLO(s) ASSESSED THIS SEMESTER:
(1.) Students will be able to solve a variety of rudimentary first and second order differential equations.
METHODS OF ASSESSMENT: Students were given a cumulative final exam at the end of the course. A question was chosen for assessment and the results were evaluated by the correct/incorrect criteria and then adjusted with partial credit.
ANALYSIS OF ASSESSMENT: What do these results tell you about your students' achievements on the targeted SLO(s)? The analysis has let us spot the problems that our students are weakest on, as well as insuring that grading is more or less even among sections.
Question 1: Solve a separable first order differential equation.
Out of 36 students taking the final exam 26 solved the equation perfectly and 10 made errors. It was a simple equation and so the results were as expected. However 20 of the students made errors on the analysis portions of the problem pertaining to the interval of existence and its uniqueness. Although most students seem to understand how to solve differential equations, there is concern that they do not understand what those solutions are telling them.
PLAN: Indicate if your assessment results reveal a need for course improvement in order to improve student achievement, and what plans your department will make to do so.
The results were discussed at the mathematics retreat in February 2011. The department decided that it would be necessary to find a balance between teaching the students the theory behind differential equations and the mechanics of solving them. Exams and finals at this level will consist of proofs and mechanical problems. More emphasis will be placed (also in terms of points) on understanding the solutions. In order for students to understand why the theory is important more practical examples of differential equations will be included in the course lectures.
M108 will be assessed again in the Spring and the results will be compared.
Please submit this report to the Office of Research and Planning at HYPERLINK "mailto:ekarpp@glendale.edu" ekarpp@glendale.edu
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