Switching To MyMathLab For MathXL Users (Pasadena CC Meeting)

May 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm 4 comments

As I mentioned last Friday, I met with the math faculty at Pasadena CC. They used to use MathXL in their courses and are switching to MyMathLab. I’ll share the core topics we discussed. Although we focused on the differences between the two platforms, these ideas will be beneficial to any instructor who is starting out with MyMathLab.

Features of MyMathLab Not Available In MathXL

One huge difference in MyMathLab is that instructors have the ability to post their own materials in MyMathLab. For example, you can post your syllabus, practice tests, answer keys, lecture notes, … For a detailed summary of how to post your own materials, check out this blog article: Posting Your Own Materials

Students in MyMathLab have full eBook access. (In MathXL, students can only access the textbook through their MathXL homework. They have very little control over how they can move around in the eBook.) In addition to the book, there are other live interactive features in the eBook such as animations and “You Try It” problems.

Another difference in MyMathLab is the “Tools For Success” link. This link is found on the page containing the eBook, which is either labeled “eBook” or “Chapter Contents” depending on the book you are using. One tool that is quite valuable is the Student Solutions Manual. This manual is turned off by default, but you can make it available to your students. To do this, go to your Control Panel. Click on Chapter Contents & Tools For Success. Click the “Modify” button next to the Solutions Manual, and change the availability option.

Students in MyMathLab can be enrolled in more than one course at the same time, provided that both courses are taught from the same text. This means that an entire department can create a new “shared” class that contains common SLO quizzes. This would allow a department to collect data on their SLO’s. For more information on SLO quizzes, check out this blog post.

Getting Started In General

We also discussed some ideas about how to incorporate MyMathLab into your course. At the beginning, I’d recommend a combination of MyMathLab homework and MyMathLab quizzes. My standard approach is 1 homework assignment per section (~20 questions), and 2 cumulative quizzes per chapter – one at the halfway point and one at the end of the chapter (~20 questions each). In terms of your syllabus, you have to assign enough weight to MyMathLab so your students will do the work, without giving too much weight. I typically aim for 20-25% of the overall grade to come from MyMathLab.

If you give pencil & paper tests, you want to make sure that you see some of your students’ work before the exam. You can have your students keep a MyMathLab journal in which they keep their work for each problem. You can also collect short daily homework assignments (2 or 3 problems), groupwork assignments, or short quizzes. You could even just walk around during class and look at what they are writing.


I have put together a blog article that goes into all of these ideas (syllabus, Homework, Quizzes, and SLO Quizzes) as well as a couple of great tools (Search/Email by Criteria & Item Analysis.) You can check it out here:  Thoughts on Using MyMathLab to Supplement a Traditional Math Class

I’d also recommend reading about the MML Announcement Manager.

  • MyMathLab Announcement Manager – Getting Started (2/22/10)
  • How I Use The MyMathLab Announcement Manager, Part 2 (2/22/10)
  • I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, or strategies you would like to share with MyMathLab newcomers, I encourage you to leave a comment, or reach me through the contact page at my web site – georgewoodbury.com.


    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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    Faculty Meeting in Pasadena Test Taking – The Brain Dump

    4 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Diane  |  May 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm

      Once again, you are right in time to save my day! I have used MathXL all year but am going to be looking into teaching an online course next summer, so I thought I’d go ahead and switch to MML for the Fall.

      Thank you!

      • 2. georgewoodbury  |  May 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm

        Diane – Honestly, I’m not stalking you but it is funny how this keeps happening. Let me know if you have any questions during your transition. George

    • 3. Diane Bauman  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:49 am

      Well, now I’ve talked to my Rep and am second-guessing making the switch from MathXL to MyMathLab! It comes down to the student’s cost for me…a lot of them start in the Developmental Math and then proceed to College Algebra. With MathXL, they can buy one 12-month access code that will work for both classes (the courses use different textbooks) but with MML, it turns out that they pay around $70 and it can only be used with the one textbook, so my Developmental Classes would have to pay another $70 when they go into my College Algebra class.

      I am pretty good at web coding so can already upload my notes and hand-outs and give them links. I was looking at MyMathLab mostly because of the discussion and the 24-hour tutoring.

      Do you find any of your students use that tutoring feature? That would be a great topic for your next blog entry!

    • 4. Mathxl : Always Updated Info  |  June 24, 2010 at 1:09 am

      […] They used to use MathXL in their courses and are switching to MyMathLab. I'll share the core topics we discussed. Although we focused on theRead more at Switching To MyMathLab For MathXL Users (Pasadena CC Meeting … […]


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