The MAA is conducting a study of Calculus I instruction in American colleges and universities sponsored by NSF (DRL REESE #0910240). The goals of this study are:
- To improve our understanding of the demographics of students who enroll in calculus, and
- To measure the impact of the various characteristics of calculus classes that are believed to influence student success.
The PI and co-PI’s are David Bressoud (Macalester College), Marilyn Carlson (Arizona State University), Vilma Mesa (University of Michigan), Michael Pearson (MAA), and Chris Rasmussen (San Diego State University). Institutional Review Boards of Arizona State University and San Diego State University have provided IRB approvals.
- Bressoud, D., M. Carlson, V. Mesa, C. Rasmussen. 2013. The Calculus Student: Insights from the MAA National Study. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. 44:5, 685–698.
- Bressoud, D., & Rasmussen, C. (2015). Seven characteristics of successful calculus programs. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 62(2), 144-146.
- Ellis, J., Hanson, K., Nuñez, G., & Rasmussen, C. (accepted). Beyond Plug and Chug: An Analysis of Calculus I Homework. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.
- Ellis, J., Kelton, M., & Rasmussen, C. (2014). Student perceptions of pedagogy and associated persistence in calculus.ZDM – The International Journal on Mathematics Education 46(4), 661-673.. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-014-0577
- Sonnert, G., Sadler, P., Sadler, S., Bressoud, D. (2014). The Impact of Instructor Pedagogy on College Calculus Students’ Attitude Toward Mathematics. International Journal of Mathematics Education for Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/0020739X.2014.979898
- White, N., & Mesa, V. (2014). Describing cognitive orientation of Calculus I tasks across different types of coursework. ZDM – The International Journal on Mathematics Education. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-014-0588-9
Refereed Conference Proceedings
- Apkarian, N. (2015). Social networks among communities of undergraduate mathematics instructors at PhD granting institutions. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (pp. 1-5). Pittsburg, PA.
- Bressoud, D., M. Carlson, J.M. Pearson, C. Rasmussen. 2012. Preliminary Results of the Study of Characteristics of Successful Program in College Calculus. 12th International Congress on Mathematics Education. Seoul, Korea, July 8-15, 2012.
- Ellis, J. (2014). Preparing Future Professors: Highlighting The Importance Of Graduate Student Professional Development Programs In Calculus Instruction. Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 3 (pp. 9-16). Vancouver, British Columbia: PME.
- Ellis, J. (2014). Graduate students Teaching Assistants’ (GTAs’) beliefs, instructional practices, and student success. Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, (pp. 609-616). Denver, CO.
- Johnson, E., Ellis, J., & Rasmussen, C. (2014). How to make time: the relationships between concerns about coverage, material covered, instructional practices, and student success in college calculus. In (Eds.) T. Fukawa-Connelly, G. Karakok, K. Keene, and M. Zandieh, Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (pp. 722-729). Denver, Colorado.
- Johnson, E., Ellis, J., & Rasmussen, C. (2014). It’s About Time: How Instructors And Students Experience Time Constraints In Calculus I. Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 6 (pp. 119-120). Vancouver, British Columbia: PME.
- Rasmussen, C., Ellis, J., Zazkis, D., & Bressoud, D. (2014). Features of successful calculus programs at five doctoral degree granting institutions. In Oesterle, S., Liljedahl, P., Nicol, C., & Allan, D. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 38th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education and the 36th Conference of the North American Chapter of the Psychology of Mathematics Education Vol. 5 (pp. 33-40). Vancouver, Canada: PME.
- Rasmussen, C., & Ellis, J. (2013). Who is switching out of calculus and why? In Lindmeier, A. M. & Heinze, A. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 4 (pp. 73-80). Kiel, Germany: PME.
- Uysal, F., Ellis, J., & Rasmussen, C. (2013). What do college calculus students believe about mathematics? Proceedings of the 37rd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany.
Additional information about and gathered from the study can be found at:
- Bressoud, D. 2011. The Calculus I Student. Launchings. May, 2011.
- Bressoud, D. 2011. The Calculus I Instructor. Launchings. June, 2011.
- Bressoud, D. 2012. MAA Calculus Study: Intended Careers. Launchings. October, 2012.
- Bressoud, D. 2012. MAA Calculus Study: The Instructors. Launchings. November, 2012.
- Bressoud, D. 2013. MAA Calculus Study: Good Teaching. Launchings. March, 2013.
- Bressoud, D. 2013. MAA Calculus Study: Progressive Teaching. Launchings. April, 2013
- Bressoud, D. 2013. MAA Calculus Study: Graphing Calculators and CAS. Launchings. May, 2013
- Bressoud, D. 2013. MAA Calculus Study: Effects of Calculus in High School. Launchings. August, 2013
- Bressoud, D. 2013. MAA Calculus Study: Persistence through Calculus. Launchings. December, 2013
- Bressoud, D. 2014. MAA Calculus Study: Seven Characteristics of Successful Calculus Programs. Launchings. January, 2014
- Bressoud, D., Burn, H., Hsu, E., Mesa, W., Rasmussen, C., White, Nina. 2014. Successful Calculus Programs: Two-Year Colleges to Research Universities. Presentations made at NCTM Research Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 8, 2014.
- Introduction, David Bressoud
- Findings from the Two-Year Colleges, Vilma Mesa, Nina White, Helen Burn
- Masters Institutions, Eric Hsu
- Lessons Learned from Selected Research Universities, Chris Rasmussen
- Ellis, Jess; Glover, Erin; Melhuish, Kate; White, Nina. 2014. Lessons from Successful Calculus Programs.
- Introduction and PhD-granting universities
- MA-granting universities
- BA-granting colleges
- AS-granting two-year colleges
Also, see pdf files of talks on Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus : Preliminary Findings at www.macalester.edu/~bressoud/talks.
Description of Study
Phase I of the project involved surveys of Calculus I classes in two- and four-year undergraduate programs across the United States during the Fall term of 2010. We had the participation of 212 colleges and universities, over 700 instructors, and over 14,000 students. The surveys are listed below with links to the questions that were asked:
In April 2010, chairs of departments selected by stratified random sample provided (or designated another departmental member to provide) the names and contact information for Fall term instructors of mainstream Calculus I. These instructors were contacted at the start of the Fall term to complete the instructor survey. They also were asked to require their students to complete an online pre-survey during the second or third week of class. Instructors and students were also asked to complete a post-survey at the end of the term. All information from the students was collected anonymously.
Phase II of the project involved case study visits to 17 colleges and universities that were identified as having successful programs in Calculus. During fall term 2012, four teams, each consisting of a researcher in undergraduate mathematics education, a mathematician, and a graduate student or post-doctoral researcher visited four institutions identified as having particularly effective programs in Calculus I. One university was visited in spring 2012. The team leaders are
- Vilma Mesa (University of Michigan), two-year colleges
- Sean Larsen (Portland State University), four-year colleges
- Eric Hsu (San Francisco State University), master’s degree granting institutions
- Chris Rasmussen, PhD granting institutions
Access to maalongdatafile_ANON.csv
The complete data set from the five surveys conducted in 2010 under the project Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus, NSF #0910240, has been cleaned, survey responses have been linked, and identifiers have been removed. It is available from MAA for the use of researchers, and MAA reserves the right to deny any request.
Contact the MAA at email@example.com for access to the data file, maalongdatafile_ANON.csv, and the codebook, MAA ANON Code Book.docx.
Any request for this file should be accompanied by a brief précis of the planned use of the data, including research question(s) to be pursued. In addition, there are four stipulations to which the requester must agree:
- Users of this file must acknowledge the source of these data in any publication that uses them as: "Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (CSPCC) of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), David Bressoud, PI."
- Users of this file must acknowledge the source of funding for these data in any publication that uses them as: "This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DRL REESE #0910240. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."
- For any publication that uses these data, the authors must either provide a preprint which we are allowed to post on the MAA website or provide a link to the published work.
- Users must agree not to share the data file with anyone beyond their own research team.
For more information, please contact Olga Dixon, MAA Project Administrator, 202-319-8498, firstname.lastname@example.org, Linda Braddy, Deputy Executive Director for Programs and Services, 202-387-5200, email@example.com, or David Bressoud, Project Director, 651-696-6559, firstname.lastname@example.org.