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Seven Characteristics of Successful Calculus Programs

For several years, the MAA has conducted 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.

A recent Article in February issue of AMS Notices describes results from the project.

As authors David Bressoud and Chris Rasmussen note,

Our survey revealed that Calculus I, as taught in our colleges and universities, is extremely efficient at lowering student confidence, enjoyment of mathematics, and desire to continue in a field that requires further mathematics.

The article goes on to describe findings from those institutions where focused efforts have improved student success.

Additional articles and reports are available at the project website.

News Date: 
Sunday, February 1, 2015