Calculus is a fundamental subject in the engineering curriculum. In particular, calculus 2 serves as a gateway course into major courses in the engineering majors. Success and perseverance in the lower division calculus courses provide a backdrop for students’ futures in engineering. Active learning approaches, such as the flipped classroom, have been gaining traction in higher education institutions for years now with mostly positive student outcomes and mixed perceptions from students (Bishop & Verleger, 2013). Yet, studies in flipped undergraduate mathematics classrooms have been mostly focusing on performance differences between students in flipped classrooms and students in traditional classrooms (Love, Hodge, Grandgenett, & Swift, 2014; Maciejewski, 2016; Murphy, Chang, & Suaray, 2015). Self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977), an individual’s belief in his or her ability to succeed at a specific task, is a predictor of student performance and persistence in mathematics (Pajares & Miller, 1994; Zeldin & Pajares, 2000), but has not been examined in higher education flipped mathematics classrooms. The purpose of our study was to add to the fields of both flipped classroom and self-efficacy by investigating changes in students’ self-efficacy in a flipped Calculus II course for Engineers and other STEM majors. In this flipped course, we utilized rotating stations and an undergraduate Learning Assistant to support active learning for the entire term. Quantitative findings included significant increases in students’ mathematics self-efficacy, specifically in Calculus. Qualitative findings revealed that students believe their previous mathematics courses and active learning opportunities impact their mathematics self-efficacy. This work contributes to the ongoing research on active learning approaches to undergraduate mathematics education, in particular, gateway mathematics courses for engineering students.
John earned his Ed.D. in Design of Learning Environments at Rutgers University and actively works with both the Mathematics Department and Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University to design active learning environments conducive to high-level learning. John is currently on the P2C2 Committee in the Math Department which aims to transform the landscape of Pre-Calculus through Calculus 2 instruction to include more active learning opportunities. John has taught a variety of courses, ranging from the new Pre-Calculus for Engineers course to capstone courses for future teachers.
Assistant Dean for Academic Services
Interests: Active learning in STEM, Course transformations, Faculty development.
Jillian is a senior undergraduate student studying Astrophysics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where she is also a teaching assistant. Her primary research area is in physics education and she hopes to attend graduate school to continue researching. She is a mother of two and the president of a local non-profit organization representing a diverse urban elementary school.
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