MyMathLab Quizzes

May 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

Some instructors who use MyMathLab use the Homework feature, while others use the Study Plan. One thing that all MyMathLab users should incorporate into their courses are MyMathLab Quizzes. In this blog I’ll go over the reasons for using MyMathLab Quizzes, as well as some strategies for inclusion.

Why Use Quizzes In MyMathLab?

MyMathLab has tremendous learning aids built into their homework/study plan – Help Me Solve This, Show An Example, … Students should use these to help understand their work. However, students often begin over relying on these aids and that can cause trouble when the exam rolls around. Students that overuse these learning aids are often unaware of that fact until test day, when it is far to late to rectify the situation.

MyMathLab quizzes have the learning aids turned off (by default, although you could always turn them back on). These problems give students a true assessment in terms of the material thay have under control and which topics will require further study.

Another difference between MyMathLab quizzes and homework/study plan problems is that students must complete the entire quiz before getting feedback. Some students will type an answer (any answer) quickly in the homework to get some feedback, but the quizzes force the student to make a serious attempt at each problem.

I do allow my students to repeat each quiz as often as they’d like before the deadline. I figure if my developmental students want to retake a quiz, I should be happy about that.

When students know they will be quizzed in MyMathLab they are more likely to take the homework more seriously so they will be prepared.

Types Of Quizzes I Use

I have always given two cumulative quizzes for each chapter – one halfway through the chapter, one at the end of the chapter. I select problems that I would likely include on an exam. so my students use these quizzes as preparation for exams. I shoot for approximately 20 problems per quiz. I think that is thorough enough without being overwhelming.

Another type of quiz that I use is the SLO Checkpoint Quiz. For each SLO (Student Learning Outcome) in the course I created a thorough quiz covering all problem types related to that SLO. These quizzes range from 20-30 problems. I open these quizzes during the last 3 weeks of the semester. In addition to gathering data on SLO performance, I am helping my students to start preparing for their final exam. I often offer some type of reward for successful completion – this semester I am allowing students to reopen an old quiz for each SLO quiz score above 80%. For more info on my SLO quizzes, check out this blog post.

This semester I started incoprporating a new type of quiz – the section quiz. I give a short quiz for each section, 10 or so questions per quiz. Students need to pass a prerequisite homework assignment to access these quizzes. The homework does not count towards their grade, just the quizzes do. For more info on these section quizzes and how I use them, check out this blog on my new approach to elementary algebra.

One last way I use quizzes is to create practice quizzes for my students. These are optional quizzes for students who are looking for more practice. Sometimes I let my students pick the questions themselves.

Summary

I’d encourage you to use MML quizzes in your class. They help your students to avoid being too dependent on their resources, they give your students a valid assessment of their progress, and can help improve their understanding when incorporated into their overall strategy.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, or strategies you would like to share, I encourage you to leave a comment, or reach me through the contact page at my web site – georgewoodbury.com.

-George

I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Monday I post an article related to MyMathLab on my blog. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to address, or if you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website – http://georgewoodbury.com.

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