Case Studies: Lecture/Lab Setting

Darlene Winnington, Delaware Technical & Community College

Course Set-up

Students are placed in this course by a placement test, by their SAT scores, or by completing a Basic Math Course. Students are required to complete homework and tests in MyMathLab. They are required to pass each test by a 75% to pass the course. Presently homework and quizzes are worth 20%, tracked tutorial exercises are worth 20%, and tests are worth 60% of their grade.

How is MyMathLab used?

I use MyMathLab in a lecture/lab setting. Not only do I use MyMathLab to track student progress and homework, but I also use the tracked tutorials in class to get students to "do math". Concurrent with recent brain research, students learn by doing. They grow dendrites that are dedicated to what they are practicing. Watching me do math is growing dendrites to watch me do math. Furthermore, the research suggests that students need to read or practice what was presented in class within 24 hours or 80% is forgotten. Using this research, I may lecture for 15-20 minutes. Then the students must complete 4 or 5 problems in the tracked tutorials on the concepts I just covered. The cycle is repeated. Since the tutorials are tracked and are a portion of the student's grade, the students take the problems seriously and participate in the activity. Most of all, students are "doing math" and growing dendrites to do math!

The most widely used feature is "guided solution". Many students have expressed learning math through the guided solutions. The guided solutions help at home and help the student avoid complete frustration by providing an explanation.

Student results using MyMathLab

With MyMathLab, participation in class has increased. Students understand that their progress is tracked and there are no excuses. In many ways MML is producing the results I have expected. Last semester we introduced the lecture/lab setting at our lowest level course, Basic Math, and attempted to compare it against another web environment. I personally had a pass rate of 84% on the Final Exam. The results of the other system for comparison were corrupted because the Final Exam was not given properly. Instructors were grading it inconsistently, and were allowing second and third attempts.

MML is being utilized again this semester, and students received it so well that they have requested the sections with that format. We could have filled at least another 8 sections using MML.

We are still using the other format and are trying to patch it, again. More interesting would be to track these two groups of students' success rates in their next course.

MyMathLab saves me so much time, I now have time for my family and am working on my doctoral degree!

More Case Studies

Assigning Online Homework (University of Idaho)

Traditional Classroom Environment (Youngstown State University)

Online Course (University of Toledo)

See Also