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News & Events: New Features for Summer 2009

Mark your calendars!

Release scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2009 

Our new feature release is scheduled for Saturday, 06/27/09. The estimated downtime will be 12:00 AM (midnight) to 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (4:00 AM to 7:00 PM GMT). Please do not schedule tests or assignments during this time. MyMathLab and MathXL courses will be temporarily unavailable.

No new player installation is required with this release.

New Features for Instructors

Course ID-based Enrollment for MathXL
When instructors create a course in MathXL, they will receive an XL-generated Course ID that students will need to enroll in that course. Instructors then click a link on the Course Summary (or other XL pages) to create a "first day of class"-type of document that contains the Course ID and instructions for students to register and enroll in their course. Using Course IDs will make course enrollment much easier for students but will preserve the option for them to study on their own.

Assignable Media Learning Aids
Media learning aids such as videos, animations, or ebook pages will be assignable as homework, quizzes, or tests. These media assignments can be selected as prerequisites to other assignments.

Partial Credit for Unsimplified Algebraic and Numeric Answers
Instructors can now choose to award credit for unsimplified answers on a question-by-question basis for tests, quizzes, and homework. While creating an assignment, instructors can choose to retain the default "no credit for unsimplified answers" scoring, or they can enter their own partial credit scoring percentage for each question. Should the student enter an answer that is equivalent to the correct answer but not in the specified form, the student will receive the partial credit percentage specified by the instructor.

Editable Publisher-provided Questions
Using the MathXL Exercise Builder, instructors will be able to edit, add, or remove text in publisher-provided questions. They can also remove parts of a multi-part question and modify some of a question's algorithms. As with other instructor-created questions, edited publisher questions will not be supported by learning aids such as Help Me Solve This, View an Example, video, ebook pages, or animations.

Customizable Study Plan
Instructors can customize the Study Plan by specifying the objectives and questions that will appear for students to work on. They also can set the definition for mastery (percentage level). Students who successfully complete "Needs Study" questions will see a new icon that reminds them to retest to prove their mastery.

Ability to Rename the "Other" Category
Instructors can now change the name of the "Other" category in the Gradebook to anything they wish.

Enhanced Security for Tests and Homework
While a high-stakes test ("blocked access") is in progress, all other instances of the MathXL Player (Homework, Study Plan, or review of previous work) will be disallowed. Similarly, while doing their homework, students will not be able to launch another player instance.

Answer Tolerance Setting for Numeric Answers
For statistics titles, instructors will be able to view the publisher-defined tolerance for numeric answers. They can then set their own tolerance level on a question-by-question basis or for an entire assignment using either a percentage or a preset decimal value. The instructor-defined tolerance will override the publisher-defined tolerance if it is more lenient.

Instructions for Individual Questions
While creating assignments, instructors will have the option of adding instructions to individual questions, giving students tips or reminders on how to work a particular question.

More Granular Advanced Exports
Student performance on assignments and the Study Plan down to the objective level will be available for export. Instructors who select this new Advanced Export type can choose from a myriad of parameters, including new options such as median score, total time spent per student, and median time spent per chapter. (Median time spent, as well as average time spent, will also be available on Item Analysis pages and exports.)