DLIAward Winner Lehman College of CUNY
Concurrent Session 9
Category: Faculty-Led Team Award
Courseware Platform: Sapling Learning/Macmillan AND a WordPress custom CUNY site
This project is driven by four overarching goals: increase the success of students in gateway science courses, particularly low-income students of color, reduce out-of-pocket costs for students, find truly effective pedagogical practices that can be implemented across resource-limited public institutions like CUNY, and teach instructors to adapt the pedagogies. We restructured a one-year gateway General Chemistry course that has low national passing rates (~60%). In Spring 2014, we ran a pilot course at Hunter College as a truly lectureless hybrid: 1hr of class time, most instruction occurring at home through a set of custom videos, a commercial online homework system (Sapling Learning), and an elegant, easy-to-use WordPress website. The results were dramatic - over 200 students registered, the passing rate exceeded 85% (more than our best instructor's passing rate!), student costs were reduced by half and student satisfaction was high. Despite this, students requested more class time. In Fall 2014 we offered the current version of the course - a flipped, active learning class where students spend 3hrs in a (non-lecture) class, learn new content through the video backbone, and practice their learning in weekly online homework sets. In Spring 2015, two of us moved to Lehman College, and enrolled a lower performing group of students into a flipped course. The passing rates at Lehman rose from 35% to 80%! Students at Lehman and Hunter scored the same on identical tests - a true reduction in the achievement gap. The results appear robust, the course is cheaper, and now we are focused on scale.
Lehman College is one of the 24 colleges of the City University of New York, the nation's largest urban public university. The 37-acre campus and its beautiful gothic architecture were constructed in the 1930s as part of Hunter College (another CUNY college in Manhattan) to better serve the residents of the Bronx. Fifty years ago, the Bronx campus of Hunter became independent and Lehman College of CUNY was born. Lehman is the only public senior college in the Bronx and serves as a cultural hub for the borough. Its Performing Arts Center regularly hosts international performances of musicians and dancers. Lehman educates most of the nurses and teachers of the borough and surrounding suburbs. And Lehman's Instructional Technology (IT) department is known within CUNY as a unit that values innovation and has led Lehman in offering the most online courses within CUNY.