Academic setbacks due to pandemic learning are being felt across college campuses. A recent Associated Press investigation revealed that, “at many universities, engineering and biology majors are struggling to grasp fractions and exponents. More students are being placed into pre-college math, starting a semester or more behind for their majors, even if they get credit for the lower-level classes.” Organizations like NAEP have documented K-12 student learning loss in all subjects, but math scores have fallen the furthest with margins not seen in decades of assessing students. Colleges must prepare support services to help colleges support students where they are - building foundational math skills, offering supplemental instruction and tutoring, and ensuring students can access resources to help them succeed in math. The reality is that current 9th graders are nearly a full year behind in math, and so higher education will be tasked with shoring up math skills for years to come.
So, what practical strategies can institutions employ to support their students to succeed in math? Read on for five ways colleges can quickly build math resources for their students.
1. Normalizing Math Learning Loss
Assure students that they are not alone. Normalize that many students are finding that they need to reinforce math skills to have the foundation to succeed in academic disciplines and/or courses. Short videos can be a great way to remind students of strategies for addressing math concerns. Create a campus campaign to showcase the beauty of math that surrounds us daily—reminding students that mastering math skills is within their grasp.
2. Boosting Access: Campaigning For Math Support Services
Promote math support services like tutoring (online and in-person) and group study opportunities everywhere. Ensure messages about how easy it is to access tutoring are on college websites, all social media feeds, LMS announcements, and class content, and plastered to the bathroom stalls, bulletin boards, and on college buses. Involve current students, such as math tutors, to create an effective campaign to promote campus resources!
3. Empowering Peers: Enhancing Math Support
Provide peer-to-peer math support. Often, students feel more comfortable sharing their learning challenges with a peer. Math buddy programs can be a low-key method for giving students a place to work through math challenges and feel comfortable sharing their struggles. Create study groups in math classes and provide direction for best-use group study opportunities.
4. Streamlining Student Success Supports
Integrate student success supports, making them integral to the learning process. Math boot camps, required supplemental instruction, and mandatory tutoring sessions are all strategies for ensuring students interact with math support services.
5. Incentivizing Learning: Rewards For Math Support Engagement
Reward students for using academic math support resources! Perhaps it’s extra credit on a test with proof of attending tutoring, group review sessions, or giveaways like campus bookstore gift cards to encourage participation in math tutoring and services!
Empowering Success: Addressing Math Learning Loss In Colleges
Colleges need to quickly address math learning loss and be prepared to provide these support services for years to come. With the proper support and skill development, research shows that students can be successful in math-related fields and courses. To explore more video-based content to support math learners, check out Innovative Educators StudentLingo resources.
For nearly 20 years, Innovative Educators has assisted college leaders to build foundations of success for their students. Institutions have seen student engagement and retention increase as a result of utilizing Go2Orientation, OnlineLingo and StudentLingo to onboard new students. Grounded in best practices for online learning, Innovative Educators student support tools are engaging, interactive, and community-building. Go2Orientation, OnlineLingo and StudentLingo together create a powerful online resource center providing support to students throughout their academic journey.Like To Learn More? Schedule A Demo
By Meg Foster
Online Learning & Design Specialist - Consultant