Authentic Applications that Succeed with Students

During my attendance at AMATYC in Nashville this past month, I had the opportunity to attend a sharing session with Ned W. Schillow, AMATYC Math for AAS Programs Chairperson.  During the session, attendees were seated at different tables with an assortment of labs that were similar in design.  After everyone had the chance to look at the labs, each table discussed a few questions about a lab of their choosing.  The interaction between instructors from across the nation was fabulous.  First of all, I would like to say in my humble opinion that from what I saw at this session and many others, North Carolina is leading the way for teaching students quantitatively in a real world fashion.  Second, it had never occurred to me that authentic applications depend on location.  For example, one lab was about driving a car.  While this seems to be very applicable across the nation, the instructor from New York City commented that his students had no idea about cars because most of them had never driven a car and did not own one.  However, the labs that were shared can be adapted to our needs and our students in order to make them applicable to any context.

I believe that Quantitative Literacy in North Carolina will be successful as long as we continue to share the rich activities that not only we are doing in our own classrooms but also what other instructors are doing across the nation.  The following is the link to the nearly 60 labs that were
shared during the session:

It was a wonderful conference that I was proud to be at with the many North Carolina instructors.  I am proud of the road we are on.  Rock On!

Vicki Todd
Southwestern CC

1 Response to Authentic Applications that Succeed with Students

  1. Luke Walsh says:

    Vicki, the point about New York City and cars is very true. MAT 143 lends itself to be a personal math course for students. For example, we took the “pond at Isothermal campus” lab and turned it into “parking at CVCC”. I encourage to people use the link you share and along with all of the labs from the CIP, and explore the question, “How can I make this more personal for my students?” No need to design a whole new lab. Just a few personal touches can make for a big impact.

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