Using Personalized Homework in MyMathLab

January 19, 2011 at 6:54 am 2 comments

This semester I have decided to use personalized homework in MyMathLab for my online elementary algebra class. The idea of personalized homework begins with students taking an assessment to determine which objectives students have already mastered, then their homework assignments are reduced to objectives that are not mastered.

I will begin each week with a quiz that covers 3 sections in the text. Once students have attempted the quiz, the personalized homework for the 3 sections are due on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Finally, students will be able to go back and take the quiz as many times as they would like until the following Monday when the next week’s cycle begins again.

I am really excited about this approach. It will definitely keep students on a regular schedule, which is so important for online students. It is so easy for students to disconnect and float away in an online class, and regular deadlines help combat this.

I believe this approach plays to the strengths on MyMathLab as well. I will be able to see the growth from the original quiz to the student’s final attempt.

I imagine that students will enjoy the opportunity to shorten their homework as well.

As we get to the more difficult material in the course, students who do not know how to do any of the problems will be able to submit a blank quiz in order to get started on their full homework.

As the rest of the semester progresses I will share updates on how the class is going, as well as some of the other tools I use to teach an online class.

Do you have experience using MyMathLab personalized homework? Any tips or questions on teaching an online math class? Please leave a comment, or reach me through the contact page at my web site –


I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. 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 –


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Diane  |  January 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I have a student doing an independent study class for me and I’m going to try this same approach in a dev. math course. I’ve set up chapter 1 so he takes the pre-homework assessment which will personalize the homework for him. (doesn’t count towards his grade however). Then at the end he’ll take the same batch of questions as his chapter test.

    I hope it works!

    How has yours been going?

  • 2. Andy Hynds  |  January 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I will also be using personalized homework in Beginning Algebra this spring. After seeing a presentation on the concept at the Indianapolis conference last September, I was ready to try it out. We are only a few days into the semester, but my students have really responded. They like the idea of being able to prove mastery right away, and I think it takes away the “I already learned this in high school” mantra that many students in this course like to use.


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