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Why did Professor Carol Crothers redesign her course?
The College of Western Idaho Math Department wanted a new delivery system to allow students to complete their curriculum in a modular, self-paced emporium format structured to help more students enroll in a transfer-level course earlier in their college careers. In addition, the Math Department hoped that their new implementation as an emporium course would help to increase the retention rate. At this time, College Prep Math was reshaped and delivered using MyLab Math.
Implementation of course redesign with MyLab Math
At the beginning of the College Prep Math course, students take a diagnostic test using MyMathTest. A student must earn at least 80% in units containing pre-algebra objectives and at least 70% in all other units to have them waived from the Individual Learning Plan (ILP). All work is done in MyLab Math and faculty utilize the coordinator course feature to ensure consistency between sections.
- During the first week in the Math Solutions Center (MSC), students set up their MyLab Math account, fill out their ILP, and start their first homework assignment in MyLab.
- Second week activities include learning about taking MyLab quizzes and tests, identifying resources in Blackboard and MyLab, and filling out the Week 1 Progress Check.
- After the second week of classes, students are given quite a bit of autonomy as they proceed through the course, with the faculty continuing to offer guidance to help them make good decisions as they work.
Professor Cathy Cruthers shares her best practices
- Constant communication with instructors helps students stay on track.
- Students should maintain the two-to-three-hour weekly work time as a guideline.
- Students are reminded to study the unit content in MyLab via the eText, PowerPoints, video lectures, or animated explanations
- Students should keep all work on homework, quizzes, and prep assignments in an organized notebook.
- If a student completes all content required for the units assigned in the ILP prior to the end of the semester, the student is exempt from attending the MSC for the remainder of the semester.
Was the course redesign a success?
Retention rates for the traditional three-course sequence and the College Prep Math implementations were examined, which shows:
- Retention in the emporium course was 29 percentage points higher than retention in the traditional sequence for the specified time periods.
Did students like the course redesign?
In a survey given to the Spring 2017 cohort, students shared their views on the various initiatives incorporated into the course by CWI math faculty.
One student said:
“I loved the set up online, the planning structure and the freedom to complete on my own time, particularly the ability to go ahead.”
In addition, when asked specifically about MyLab Math, data shows:
- 86% of survey respondents rated the use of MyLab Math resources as very important or important.
- 82% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree MyLab Math has prepared them for future courses.
- 78% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree MyLab Math allowed them to be successful in the course.
Read the full findings here
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