University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR | state research university | 26,000+ students

Product: MyLab Math in MyLabsPlus
Course: Finite Mathematics
Method: Hybrid, flipped

When Finite Math Coordinator Brian Rickard and Director of Fulbright Student Success Deb Korth took over the Finite Math course, they realized it had slowly become a very algebra-based course. They felt like they were barely able to get into the applications the course was originally designed to feature. By adopting MyLab™ Math in MyLabsPlus™, they hoped to flip the classroom and assign pre-class work so that students would do the calculation exercises on their own time and come to class prepared algebraically to cover more applications, which were important given that Finite Math is a prerequisite to the Data Analysis course.

University of Arkansas uses the MyLab prerequisites function for homework, quizzes, and tests.

“Our success rates are higher than they have been since the mid-90s, and we’ve done nothing but make tests harder, material-wise, by making them entirely application word problems. This is a testament to our course structure and MyLab Math resources that are able to teach the calculation portion of the problems.”

—Brian Rickard, Professor, University of Arkansas

How did they use prerequisites?

Prior to starting any homework assignments, students are required to complete the Course Entry Quiz and the MyLabsPlus Orientation Homework. Once those are completed, students may work on homework assignments. In addition, each quiz requires a certain percentage on the associated homework before students can access it. The required percentage varies for each quiz, and it is the student’s responsibility to check the requirements for each quiz. Finally, prerequisite settings require students to complete a pre-test homework to at least 90 percent before MyLab will allow them to access the test.

The results

Student pass rates in Finite Math were compiled from Fall 2010–Spring 2017 to analyze pre- and post-flipped implementation results (figure 1). After the flipped course model was fully implemented using MyLab Math for pre-class work in Spring 2014, ABC rates rose five percentage points to 71 percent. A t-test was run to determine the significance of this difference. Students who took the Finite Math course after it was flipped had a significantly higher pass (ABC) rate (M=71%, SD=3%,N=6) than those who took the course before it was flipped (M=65%, SD=4%, N=5), where t(9)=2.8, p<.05.

Pass (ABC) rate before and after flipped model

Figure 1. Pass (ABC) Rates Pre- and Post-flipped Course Implementation: Pre-flipped Course, Fall 2010–Spring 2013 (n=4,571); Post-flipped Course, Spring 2014–Spring 2017 (n=7,669)

Figure 1. Pass (ABC) Rates Pre-flipped Course Implementation, Fall 2010–Spring 2013 (n=4,571); Post-flipped Course Implementation, Spring 2014–Spring 2017 (n=7,669)

“I thought MyLab Math was helpful because you were able to practice problems over and over until you understood how to do them.”

—Student, University of Arkansas