Mississippi State University

Starkville, MS | state research university | 21,000+ students

Product: MyLab Math
Course: College Algebra
Method: Hybrid — two hours in lecture, two hours in computer lab

Mississippi State University requires all students to take two math courses that are College Algebra and above. When the administration noticed a rapid decline in College Algebra enrollment, they took a closer look at the course. Prior to Fall 2005, the average withdrawal rate for the course was 15 percent; the average success (ABC) rate was 61 percent. They decided to make a change by redesigning the course in Fall 2005 from a traditional, face-to-face, optional homework course to a hybrid delivery where students spend two hours per week in lecture and two hours per week in a computer lab completing their coursework in MyLab™ Math.

“I never thought I’d like doing assignments, quizzes, and tests on the computer, but I liked it better than using pen-and-paper. If I didn’t understand a concept in class, I could use ‘View an Example’ to learn more.”

—Student, Mississippi State University

How did they use prerequisites?

The course is set up using prerequisites that require students to earn at least 75 percent on their homework before they can take a multiple-choice quiz in MyLab Math. Students then take a mastery quiz (practice test), and finally, a proctored test in MyLab Math after every three or four quizzes. In addition to the prerequisites function, instructors at Mississippi State also use the gradebook and its Item Analysis feature to identify areas on which to spend more time. The Coordinator Course function is used to ensure consistency among sections.

The results

Since implementing the MyLab Math-supported College Algebra redesign, the average success (ABC) rate has skyrocketed to 79 percent each semester (an increase of 18 percentage points) and the average withdrawal rate decreased from 15 percent before redesign to four percent after.

Pass rates and withdrawal rates for College Algebra

Figure 1. Pass Rates and Withdrawal Rates Before and After MyLab Math Implementation; Before: Fall 2000–Spring 2005: (n=5,740), After: Fall 2005–Spring 2013: (n=12,595)

Figure 1. Pass Rates and Withdrawal Rates Before MyLab Math Implementation: Fall 2000–Spring 2005 (n=5,740) and After MyLab Math Implementation: Fall 2005–Spring 2013 (n=12,595)

“The online homework helped me understand how to work the problems and get the concepts down.”

—Student, Mississippi State University