Lehigh Carbon Community College

Schnecksville, PA | community college | 7,700+ students

Product: MyLab Math in MyLabsPlus
Course: Mathematical Literacy
Method: Emporium — computer delivery with paper-and-pencil components

When Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) redesigned its developmental math sequence in 2014, they chose a self-accelerated, mastery-based format. In order to create this mastery-based format, the prerequisites function in MyLab™ Math is utilized to require students to earn a minimum score of 70–90 percent, depending on the assignment, prior to moving on to the next benchmark. Multiple attempts to remediate and improve scores are allowed. In addition, adaptive learning tools including Personalized Homework and Companion Study Plan are used to help students target their remediation attempts.

“The Mathematical Literacy Program at LCCC has allowed developmental students to be in the driver’s seat and really take control of their education.”

—Christy Hediger, Assistant Professor, Lehigh Carbon Community College

How did they use prerequisites?

LCCC breaks their course into four units, with four to six quizzes and one cumulative unit exam in each, followed by a comprehensive final exam at the end of the course material. Students have three attempts to earn 90 percent mastery on quizzes, with a built-in Personalized Homework after the first attempt. Using the prerequisite function, students must earn 100 percent on the Personalized Homework to retake a quiz.

The results

Analysis of the grade distribution for successful students in the original developmental sequence and the redesigned Mathematical Literacy course shows a much higher proportion of As when compared to the traditional sequence. LCCC faculty believe this is due to the use of the adaptive learning and remediation interventions like using prerequisites, as well as the self-accelerated nature of the Mathematical Literacy course. Students are allowed to take the time they need to work through topics to reach mastery (made possible by prerequisites), as opposed to trying to maintain a rigid schedule that often leaves them at a loss if they don’t understand a topic.

Course grade distributions

Figure 1. Course Grade Distributions for Students Who Successfully Completed the Developmental Mathematics Sequence in 2011–2013 (n=1,352) and the Mathematical Literacy Course in 2014–2016 (n=339)

Figure 1. Course Grade Distributions for Students Who Successfully Completed the Developmental Mathematics Sequence in 2011–2013 (n=1,352) and the Mathematical Literacy Course in 2014–2016 (n=339)

“The flexibility that MyLabsPlus has provided allows students to get the individualized attention they need both within the program and from their instructor.”

—Christy Hediger, Assistant Professor, Lehigh Carbon Community College