Case Studies: Online Course

Gwen Terwilliger, University of Toledo (OH)

Course Set-up

Students are placed in their course based on various factors (high school math, ACT, etc) as well as their willingness and interest in taking a math course without a traditional lecture format.

The syllabus is basically the same as for a traditional class. The difference is in course format. In MATH 0990 students start by taking an online pretest that generates their individualized study plan. Students then click on objectives they answered incorrectly and do the associated problems. Other than those problems, there is no department-assigned homework. As a student feels ready, he/she progresses to chapter quizzes. We have 4 major tests, each covering several chapters, during the term. Students are allowed to take pretests anytime, as often as they like (but we watch that they do not spend too much time on just pretests). Quizzes may only be taken 2 times; the highest score counts towards their grade and they may be taken any time and any place. Tests may be taken twice and highest score counts. Tests must be taken during class time and are password-protected. Once all work is completed students are allowed to take the final exam -- even if before exam week. Once done, they are no longer required to come to class.

We have teaching assistants in the lab to help students with problems. We also hold mini-lectures on topics that fit student needs. These are scheduled based on student progress, requests, etc. To pass the course students must average 80% on the tests and quizzes AND also 80% on the final exam.

How is MyMathLab used?

We use MyMathLab in a variety of settings:

Student results using MyMathLab

I feel that MATH 0990 is very successful since it can save students a semester of math. Also, students comment on their ability to do and redo problems and also to have them graded right away. The guided solutions and the study plan [which individualizes the work a student needs to do] are the most popular features with students. The Ask My Instructor email feature is handy for students also.

MML is most definitely producing the teaching and learning results we expected. We learn as we go along how to take even greater advantage of what MML has to offer.

More Case Studies

Assigning Online Homework (University of Idaho)

Traditional Classroom Environment (Youngstown State University)

Lecture/Lab Setting (Delaware Technical & Community College)

See Also