Assessing Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) with MyMathLab

March 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Last Friday I had the chance to sit with some high-quality math instructors at Taft College, discussing how to use MyMathLab to assess Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and to generate data. The basis of the discussion was how to use something similar to my SLO Checkpoint Quizzes on a department wide basis.

One way to begin is to create a quiz for each SLO in the course outline. Since MyMathLab will mark each question as correct or incorrect without partial credit, each quiz should be long enough and varied enough so that students who make a “careless error” on one particular problem can still prove mastery on the remaining problems.

One option would be for one instructor to create a series of SLO quizzes and have the rest of the department import those quizzes. Another option would be to create a new MyMathLab course that all of the students can enroll in. (MyMathLab allows students to sign up for other courses that use the same textbook.) The advantage of this new course would be that all of the data would be in one place (no exporting and emailing results by individual faculty). A potential drawback is that the results will not be broken down by individual instructors, but if you are looking for department-wide information that is OK.

When to give the quizzes? I give mine at the end of the semester, but you could give them as the semester progresses.

How many attempts should each student get? I allow my students to take them as many times as they’d like, but you can limit them to as few attempts as you’d like. (In my experience, leaving no limit for attempts encourages students to pursue mastery.)

Data to report? There a lot of ways to go. You can report the average score for each quiz. You can report the percentage of students who achieved a benchmark score. Both of these are quite easy to do in the MyMathLab gradebook, or you could use Item Analysis to drill deeper for results on particular questions/objectives.

If you have any questions about how I use SLO quizzes, or if you’d like to run ideas for your school by me, drop me a line. You can 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 (during the semester) 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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Creating a Community of Learners – TCCTA (1/2011) Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables – Graphing

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