Ivy Tech Community College

Columbus, IN | community college | 98,700+ students

Product: MyLab Statistics
Course: Business Statistics
Method: Fully online

Adjunct Instructor Delbert Spear adopted MyLab™ Statistics in Fall 2014 after his Business Statistics students told him how much they appreciated using MyLab Math in previous courses. The first semester did not go as well as Spear had hoped, however, and he maintains it was because he took a generic MyLab Statistics course and expected it to work for his unique style. For the next semester, Spear customized his course to include many of the adaptive features in MyLab and built it around the prerequisites function in order to step students through the course as well as ensure mastery of objectives.

“If students master an objective, they don’t have to cover it again, so they spend less time doing things they already know how to do and more time learning what they don’t.”

—Delbert Spear, Adjunct Instructor, Ivy Tech Community College

How did they use prerequisites?

Spear assigns quizzes, homework, the Companion Study Plan, and tests in MyLab Statistics. Using the prerequisite function, Spear requires students to start with a quiz before moving on to a Personalized Homework that is generated based on their performance. The better students do on the initial quiz, the shorter their homework assignment is. Spear incorporates prerequisites again by requiring that students complete their chapter homework assignment before moving on to the program’s Study Plan. Students can go back to their chapter homework again after working in the Study Plan to improve their score, since the chapter test has a prerequisite minimum score of 70 percent on chapter homework before it can be opened.

The results

Data from Spear’s Fall 2014 (first-time use of MyLab Statistics) and Spring 2015 (redesigned implementation of MyLab Statistics) courses were analyzed using a t-test assuming unequal variances. Students in Spring 2015 (M=86%, SD=6%, N=17) achieved overall grades that were 28 percentage points higher than the previous semester (M=58%, SD=29%, N=18), t(19)=-3.92, p<0.05. Figure 1 shows the percentage of students earning each letter grade before and after Spear customized his course using the adaptive and personalization features in MyLab Statistics. Spear is most proud of the fact that nobody in his Spring 2015 course failed.

Comparison of course grades earned

Figure 1. Comparison of Final Course Grades Earned Before and After Personalization of Business Statistics Course, Before: Fall 2014 (n=18); After: Spring 2015 (n=17)

Figure 1. Comparison of Final Course Grades Earned Before and After Personalization of Business Statistics Course, Before: Fall 2014 (n=18); After: Spring 2015 (n=17)

“I was dreading this class because of all the horror stories I have heard about statistics. However, the professor made it a really interesting and more easily understood class than I could have hoped for.”

—Student, Ivy Tech Community College