MyMathLab – Helping Students

September 27, 2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Do you assign problems in MyMathLab that several students struggle with? Do you ever vary your instruction from the textbook or, more importantly, the MyMathLab learning aids (Help Me Solve This/Show An Example)? In today’s blog I’ll go over a couple of suggestions for ways to help your students.

As an example of this situation, I give some elementary algebra problems asking students to find equations of a line that is parallel (or perpendicular) to a given line and passes through a given point. Some of them are presented in a graphic format where students must find the equation of the line first. In addition, I have recently started teaching the section using a different technique than I used in the textbook.

Create Your Own Videos

I have had the most success with this approach. I take a screen shot of the MyMathLab problem and paste it into a Power Point presentation. I type up the solution in the Power Point presentation using Math Type, and set up the slide show so that each line will show up one at a time. I then record a Camtasia video, using a microphone to explain all of the steps. I upload the video to YouTube, and send out an announcement/email to my students through MyMathLab.

Here is the video I created for the types of problems mentioned above: YouTube Video

Here is a link to my YouTube Channel.

There are options to this approach. You could use the free program Jing to record your videos and share them using Screencast. Instead of using a Power Point presentation, you could record an actual video using a small video camera or your cell phone.

Create a pdf File

I also type up a complete, step-by-step solution and explanation using Microsoft Word and convert it to a pdf file that I can email to my students or post in my MyMathLab course.If you post it in your MyMathLab course, you can then copy it from semester to semester.

I am still using an older version of Microsoft Word, so I convert my files to pdf files using CutePDF Writer which is a free program. The pdf format puts the document in a format that is easy to share and can be opened by anyone with Adobe Reader.

Summary

The strategies listed above help you to customize your MyMathLab courses. Do you use videos or other strategies to help your students with difficult topics or problems? 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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