Problem: Conflicting GSI Office Hour and student schedules, as well as overcrowding in the Math Lab. Solution: UMath

Hello edUMize staff. Last time group 3 posted to the blog, we discussed a similar problem in that students have busy schedules, and often cannot make their GSI scheduled office hours. Our problem has widened, and the solution has changed. Not only are we addressing the issue of uncoordinated instructor and student schedules, we are also addressing the issue of overcrowding within the Math Lab. Students go to the Lab seeking help, but can end up waiting for a long time before they actually receive help. So, the our solution is to create a website, called UMath, that is connected to Ctools. This site will allow students to schedule 20-minute blocks of time with their GSI for any quick questions or concept discussion, will let students see how many students are currently in the Math Lab and which GSIs or tutors are occupied, and will also let students post questions they have to the site. These questions will then be answered by GSIs, tutors, or volunteer upper-level math students within 4 hours. The GSIs will not have to do anything extra, or hold office hours for any longer. We think this will increase efficiency within the math department, and will grant students who have busy schedules and very little time to waste an opportunity to receive help in their math courses without having to severely alter their schedules. This idea is being tested within the math department after we propose it to Mel Hochster, the Chair of the department, and if it is successful, we will try to implement it within other departments here at U of M. Any feedback or insight on our problem or solution will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.


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