Homework by choice: STEM-Focused and Personalized for First-Term Calculus Students

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Ala' Alnaser
Aaron Bardall
Abigail Bowers
Jared Bunn


In this project we seek to improve success and retention of STEM majors by improving student motivation for problem solving in STEM applications. This is done through enhancing first year and second year Calculus courses by not only connecting the learned theory to real-life STEM examples, but moreover relating them to the students’ actual areas of interest. Many projects and assignments were designed for this purpose, with a basic structure of (i) watching a video with examples, (ii) choosing an area of interest, (iii) solving a real-life application based on this choice, and (iv) filling out a short survey and discussing with peers. We believe that this project is an extension on previous results that show the positive effect of homework on student learning, with the added motivation that comes from the student’s personal interest.

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