Using MyMathLab Inside the Classroom

September 20, 2010 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

I missed two days in my Intermediate Algebra class last week while participating in an On Course workshop followed by a terrific MyMathLab meeting in Indianapolis. We had just finished the section on simplifying radical expressions, so my students had 5 days to work on homework. I started getting emails from students who were having a hard time with some of the problems. I asked all of my students to compile a list of the problems they were struggling with.

Today (Monday) when I returned to class I opened my MyMathLab gradebook and projected it onto the screen. I ran an Item Analysis on that homework assignment. Many students were relieved to find out that they were not the only one missing “that” problem when comparing their list of questions to the output of the Item Analysis. I asked the class to tell me which problems we should go over, and they assembled a short list of 4 problems: 23, 26, 29, & 31.

I opened problem 23 and walked them through the solution, spending time on the big ideas. After I typed in the correct answer, I opened a Similar Exercise and had them try it. I did the same for the other 3 problems. One student noted that it was like using “Help Me Solve This” or “Show An Example”, but a lot better. It’s similar to the way I lecture in general – one problem that I work through (with their help) followed by one for them to try.

If you have the ability to do this with MyMathLab inside your class, I would recommend trying this strategy. I think it helps students realize that they are not the only one who might be struggling with a problem. A special In-Class MML quiz or assignment is a great way to review for an exam, giving the entire class a grade depending on their performance on this assignment. Next week I will blog specifically about this type of in-class review assignment.

Do you use MyMathLab inside your classroom? Do you have a technique that is particularly effective or innovative? Please share by leaving a comment, or reaching 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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