Getting Started With MyMathLab?

April 11, 2011 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Last Friday I spent time with some instructors who were considering getting started with MyMathLab. Here are some general rules for those of you who may be in the same spot.

  • Start Slow
    MyMathLab is very powerful with lots of bells and whistles. Don’t feel that you need to incorporate them all right away. Start with homework for each section and maybe a quiz for each chapter. There will be plenty of time to expand, and basic homework and quizzes are a great way to get your feet wet. Don’t put too many questions on a homework assignment – my rule of thumb is 20 or less per assignment, and frequently less than 20.
  • See How Things Work From the Student Side
    During the first semester, I’d recommend trying the homework yourself. I’d do it a day before your students see it so you can share advice from your attempts.
  • Explain How the Learning Aids Work, Point Out Pitfalls
    I take the time to explain the purpose of each learning aid. I also point out the hazards of over-relying on them. I have a “Student Pointers” document on my web site that I have my students read: http://georgewoodbury.com/mml_student.html Feel free to use this in any way you wish. When students understand how to use the aids effectively, and that the overall goal is to understand the mathematics, they will use it effectively.
  • Don’t Give Up On Written Work
    It’s still important to see students’ work, so continue to incorporate short in-class quizzes, weekly homework packets, or groupwork. Some instructors have students write out their MyMathLab homework and keep it in a notebook that gets collected on a regular basis. This is a great way to keep students from looking for patterns and guessing at answers.
  • Make It Mandatory
    Students don’t do optional. Set regular deadlines, and be firm with them.

If you’d like more suggestions, ask for a copy of my free George Woodbury’s MyMathLab Guide from your Pearson rep, or drop me a line and I can get you a pdf.

-George

I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. You can reach me through the contact page on my website – http://georgewoodbury.com.

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