Moving Online: Transforming an Algebra Enrichment Program for Online Instruction and the Impacts on Student Learning Experiences and Outcomes (Session 11B)
Main Topic: Education, Teaching and Classroom Practices
Session Type: Paper
Hispanics, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders continue to be significantly underrepresented in both K-12 gifted and talented education programs as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) college majors and careers. One way to open up the doors for these students in the STEM fields is to promote their participation in gifted math education programs and successful completion of algebra, which is the ‘gatekeeper’ course of STEM pathway, in middle school.
To provide such an early opportunity and to research the effectiveness of providing a culturally responsive, accelerated, and enriched algebra intervention, we have designed a program called Project BEAM (BE A Mathematician). The model consists of three main components: hands-on, culturally responsive math activities; real-world math exploration; and math project development. The model uses the Renzulli Enrichment Triad Model as a core structure to guide students through a progression of activities. In delivering the program to the students, we utilize an array of evidence-based teaching strategies. So far, the model has been tested with 332 students from 24 middle schools across Hawaiʻi, Arizona, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
Originally, the program has been implemented as an in-person, after-school or summer intensive math program. However, due to the school closures by the pandemic, we modified the program and implemented it online since March 2020. The purpose of the study is to describe how we transformed the program for online instruction and examine how the impacts of the online math program on the student learning experiences and outcomes are compared with those of the in-person math program and online non-math, English Language Arts (ELA) program.
In order to maintain the original program components, intensity, and quality as well as research design, we substituted activity materials for common household items. We used Zoom to meet students, used Canvas to post instructional materials and assessments, and used Google Classroom to post student worksheets and remind assignments. We also used Google Docs and Spreadsheets for our project instructors to monitor students’ problem-solving process and provide feedback in real-time.
We compared the data from in-person Summer 2019 math camp (n=28), online Summer 2020 math camp (n=71), and online Summer 2020 ELA camp (n=39). As a result of data analysis, we found that the online math program made significant positive impacts on students’ growth mindset, sense of excellence and responsibility, attitudes towards math, and engagement in math learning. In turn, these positive attitudinal changes were translated into increased confidence in learning and solving algebra skills as well as mastering a project-based math curriculum. Furthermore, the online math program students were as likely as in-person math group students to view the math camp as fun and engaging. In part, this might be because project staff had fostered a supportive and engaging online learning environment in which students could interact with the teachers and their peers. It implies that online learning can yield positive outcomes, comparable to or better than the in-person instruction when appropriate adjustments are made to assure students’ engagement.
- Learn how an in-person math program can be shifted for an online instruction
- Learn whether online math instruction can yield comparable outcomes as in-person math instruction
Keywords: culturally responsive education, enrichment, online math program
This presentation was made by the contributions of Project BEAM (U.S. DOE Gifted and Talented Education Program Award # S206A170014 & Native Hawaiian Education Program Award #S362A170031) research team, consisting of Hye Jin Park, Kiriko Takahashi, Kendra Nip, Jerrik Feliciano, Tingting Reid, Yoko Kitami, Jerica Mānoa, and Alejandro Guillen, and collaborators (Northern Arizona University, Northern Marianas College, and ALU LIKE, inc.
Dr. Hye Jin ParkCenter of Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Associate Professor
Center of Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Hye Jin Park, Ph.D. is an interim associate director and associate professor at the Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research interest includes education for exceptional students and evaluation. She is currently a PI and Co-PI of five STEM research projects for underrepresented students.
Ms. Kendra NipCenter on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Junior Specialist
Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Kendra Nip, M.Ed, serves as the project coordinator for several federally-funded research studies that supports and mentors students in Grades 7-12 to prepare for post-secondary programs and careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. These research programs implement evidence-based strategies that are designed to reach all learners in a variety of instructional settings. Kendra has also served as the data coordinator for several research studies in the areas of education, disability studies, and psychology. She is currently completing her dissertation in educational psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research interests also include culturally relevant assessment and program evaluation.