Donate to AIBL!

Thank you for your interest in donating to support AIBL! Your financial support will help to expand inquiry-based learning in college mathematics instruction. On this page you will find important information about what programs you would be supporting, the impact the AIBL programs have, and why this is important to college mathematics. 

For donations above $75, AIBL will send you a thank you gift!

Read more below to see how your donation will be used. If you are interested in funding a particular project, please email Stan Yoshinobu.


What Will I Be Funding?

A grassroots community!

AIBL is a grassroots organization that supports the IBL community in postsecondary mathematics. The community consists of math instructors and professors spread across North America. AIBL has notably been recently involved in large projects such as the PRODUCT grant (funded by the NSF) to expand the math profession's capacity for professional development, and the establishment of the IBL SIGMAA within the Mathematical Association of America. But our organization is not limited to specific types of colleges or organizations. All math instructors are invited to learn about and implement IBL methods.

Math instructors in the IBL community teach at a wide range of institutions, from small regional colleges, two-year colleges, state universities, and large research institutions. We also have some IBL members from K-12 schools, although our primary focus is at the postsecondary mathematics level, due to our funding level and capacity.  Math instructors face many challenges and hurdles when adopting IBL methods. These obstacles can be internal (not having IBL skills) and/or external (the institutional environment is not supportive of evidence-based practices). AIBL works with individuals through a portfolio of programs to reduce these obstacles. Once a math instructor is skilled in the use of IBL methods, then the result is a durable, flexible instructor who can use IBL at their institution. Implementation challenges are real and significant, but also solvable. We help math instructors with solving the specific implementation problems and challenges they face!  Lastly, IBL methods are "sticky," meaning once an instructor is able to successfully implement IBL, then that instructor is highly likely to continue using IBL methods.

Ultimately, funding reaches real students with meaningful impact. The funding pathway to student success is through the instructor, but the end goal and outcome is student success. The NSF funded SPIGOT project (which preceded PRODUCT) worked with 130+ math instructors, who taught 180+ IBL courses (in just their first year after the workshop), to more than 4600 students! The impact of SPIGOT funding multiplies with each semester, and the investments made into math instruction will benefit students for decades to come.

Community Building

The Academy of Inquiry Based Learning has established a list of experienced Inquiry-Based Learning practitioners who are able to visit institutions to facilitate, encourage and support the use of inquiry-based learning. Visits may range from invited talks to traveling workshops. Our team and community also engages in mentoring, building regional consortia, publishing via the IBL Blog, and networking via email lists and social media.

Where will my money go?

Based on your donation amount, your money will help fund a variety of projects. We currently have three different levels of projects. The first is for smaller donations which will help support faculty, staff and instructors at the individual level through helping to fulfill individual requests. This can include travel for workshops, watching IBL classes or to meet a mentor, as well as, workshop registration, and material support for classrooms.  A larger donation can help support our second level of projects- the week long and traveling workshops. The workshops target groups of individuals coming together to learn IBL implementation in their classrooms and create a support network. Finally, the largest donations will help support our small grants program. The Small Grants program impacts the IBL community through allowing professors to develop courses that impact mathematics students and course materials that other professors may need. When you donate to AIBL, you help to make a difference in the mathematics field through impacting students, instructors, and the entire community. 


Impact Students and Instructors

Research has shown that there are multiple benefits to Inquiry Based Learning for both students and instructors

Students

In Evaluation of the IBL Mathematics Project: Student and Instructor outcomes of Inquiry-Based Learning in college mathematics, the researchers discovered students have increased cognitive, affective and social gains compared to students in non-IBL classrooms. Cognitive gains relate to the understanding of mathematical lessons, thinking and problem solving skills. Affective gains include confidence, positive attitude, and persistence. Social gains cover collaboration and comfort of teaching math to others (Laursen, Hassi, Kogan, Hunter & Weston, 2011).

In Active Learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics, researchers have explained that average exam scores improved by approximately 6% in active learning sections. Students in classes with traditional (lecture) learning were 1.5 times more likely to fail (Freeman et al., 2014). 

Not only does research support the positive impact of IBL, but students often speak of positive experiences in their IBL classes: 

"It gave the students a chance to show what we know and think rather than just absorb what's thrown at us on the board"                                                                                          -Alex, Cal Poly
"That method of teaching when you gotta get outside of your comfort zone and you start talking and answering questions in front of the class, you almost feel smarter and you feel good about yourself."                                                                                                -Dmitri, Cal Poly 
IBL Workshop 2015-4213.jpg

Instructors

Research has also shown that instructors have enhanced teaching and a deeper understanding of their students and how the students learn as well as greater pride in their students' progress. Following an IBL course, professors have a stronger belief in the importance and value of student centered learning. Professors have a larger teaching portfolio, as well as enhanced professional development, intellectual stimulation, and interest and enjoyment in their field (Laursen, Hassi, Kogan, Hunter & Weston, 2011). 

Again, it's not just research that shows these positive effects but also professors who speak about their experiences:

"It was challenging to me to watch the students struggle with the material without jumping into assist but a majority of the students claimed they improved at problem solving, presenting at the board and writing proofs."                                        -Rachel Esselstein
"I have never learned more about myself as a teacher of mathematics and my students as learners of mathematics from a single course. My role in the IBL course only strengthened my belief that we can teach without telling"      -Todd Grundmeier
"I believe IBL is an authentic way to teach and learn mathematics which not only revels the profound mathematical ideas but also the real experience of actually doing mathematics."                                                                    -Hung Lu
"I noticed that students really started to trust their own instincts instead of relying on looking up answers or reading others' explanations and trying to mimic results.                      -Audrey Malagon
"It is apparent that many students developed and improved their problem solving skills as related to solving both traditional and nontraditional math problems. The students understand that the emphasis is on the reasoning and not the final answer. They have demonstrated an appreciation for different modes of solving a given problem.                       -Tara Davis

Small Grant Awardee Testimonals

It was challenging and rewarding for me to purposefully teach in this way. It helped me to hone the material that I presented so that I could cover what was needed and then get to some really interesting, thought-provoking problems and class dialog.....I would like to thank the AIBL and the Educational Advancement foundation for providing me with the opportunity to revitalize and reflect on my teaching though this small grant project. This work has energized and changed the direction of my career in teaching.
— Kristen Schreck
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all who make the small grant program possible. Making a change in my style of teaching felt like a daunting and risky task, and I probably would have not followed through with a significant change without having committed to it through the grant. I believe the changes made to my teaching resulted in a richer educational experience for the students.
— Paul Choboter
I enjoy the student experience with IBL. The initial frustration is hard, but the end result of the confidence in their ability to explore an idea and satisfactorily justify their result without looking to the instructor for approval is so valuable, especially with this group of pre-service teachers. They need to learn how to check ideas for themselves and with others, without always depending on an outside source to approve of them. If and when they do get to that point, they feel solid in their ability to deal with classroom questions and a variety of approaches rather than rote memorization and a single method for a problem.
— Tracey Jackson
In many respects, I have grown more as an educator in the past four months than I have in the past three years as a college professor. I more deeply understand the importance of reciprocation in teaching and learning. I am grateful for the space and support to fundamentally examine my practices and experiment with new techniques. I feel that I am a better educator and person because of these experiences.
— Phong Le
The use of the IBL materials and the shift of instruction to more active mode were very successful. Student retention in the course was an all-time high for this instructor. Of the 36 students that started the course, 30 completed it. Of those, 90% received a C or better. (Calculus II)
— Janice Rech
Comparing the last two times I taught this course, there is major improvement of students’ final grade. The average GPA (including failed and withdrawn students) the last two times were 1.0 and 2.05 respectively. Each time two students dropped the class and even the math program! For this semester, no students dropped and average GPA is 3.1.
— Xiao Xiao
Teaching Advanced Calculus using IBL techniques was an immensely valuable experience for me. Just as our students learn by doing, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to put what I learned at the IBL workshop into practice. I learned how to carefully structure a course so as to have the freedom to let go of control during individual class days. I learned how better to create an ego-free, supportive classroom atmosphere. I worked closely with the students individually and as a class to foster their confidence in their mathematical abilities. Further, just as the student experience was one that could be easily transferred to other courses and disciplines, so was the teaching experience. Overall, I gained the skills and confidence necessary to extend the IBL techniques to other courses and to improve upon Advanced Calculus for next year.
— Erin Martin
I am grateful to the EAF and the AIBL for stewarding the history and collective wisdom associated with inquiry based approaches and for supporting me in adopting them. This style of teaching and learning fits who I am and how I want to teach. Having a community of practitioners from whom to learn and with whom to share is of great value to me
— Dan Goldner
Some of my favorite class moments were the activities we did. The second activity where students created their own class of graphs was amazing. It was so fun to see their creative new classes of graphs and some eve tried labeling these graphs later. Some of the classes the created included glasses, bicycles, and flowers with a stem. (Graph Theory and Graph Labeling)
— Alison Marr
I have enjoyed this process as it has given me a chance to really change the way I approach this material. This process has challenged me to develop questions that appeal to students and gets to the heart of operations research.
— Kevin Huston
First of all, I have enjoyed this project a lot. I think IBL is a valid and useful pedagogical that one should use in teaching at least to some extent. For a course such as Boolean Networks which is based on actual research, I believe IBL is the way to go, providing students with a research like experience from day one...Furthermore, this project has prepared me for incorporating IBL techniques in other classes, such as Introduction to Proof, Introduction to Analysis, Probability and Statistics.
— Dora Matache
References

Freeman,S.,Eddy, S.L., McDonough,M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor,N.,Jordt,H.,&Wenderoth, M.P.(2014). Active Learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319030111

Laursen,S.,Hassi,M.-L., Kogan, M., Hunter, A.-B, & Weston, T. (2011). Evaluation of the IBL Mathematics Project: Student and Instructor outcomes of Inquiry-Based Learning in college mathematics. {Report prepared for the Educational Advancement Foundation and the IBL Mathematics Centers]. Boulder, CO: Ethnography & Evaluation Research, University of Colorado Boulder.