Wor-Wic Community College

Salisbury, MD | community college | 4,000+ students

Product: MyLab Math in MyLabsPlus
Course: Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra
Method: Emporium

Historically, Wor-Wic Community College taught traditional, face-to-face courses with MyLab™ Math as a homework supplement. However, hoping to increase course pass rates and retention rates, in Fall 2012, the school switched to a modified emporium model with students in the classroom three hours per week and a mini lecture at the beginning of each class. Now, in the final iteration of their redesign, which began in Spring 2013, MyLabsPlus™ delivers the total course, and, to ensure mastery learning, multiple mastery levels are set throughout the course using the prerequisites function in MyLab Math.

“[Students] are more excited about moving through the developmental series than I ever saw them in the traditional class because they know they can move quickly through the concepts they have mastered and slow down in their particular area of difficulty. MyLabsPlus is a large part of making this possible.”

—Susan Twigg, Instructor, Wor-Wic Community College

How did they use prerequisites?

Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra students begin each section by watching a slideshow about the objective. They must then decide if they know the information well enough to take the pre-test. If students take the pre-test and score 100 percent, they are finished with the section and can move on to the next one. However, if they do not score 100 percent on the pre-test, or choose not to take it because they aren’t comfortable with the material, they must work through the content. This can include watching a video, reading the textbook, or taking notes in their notebook, and then doing the section homework at a minimum of 85 percent, which is a prerequisite to taking the section test. Passing the section test is a prerequisite to moving on to the next section’s slideshow and repeating the cycle.

The results

The redesigned courses realized gains in pass rates compared to the traditionally taught sections, which had averaged 88 percent for Prealgebra and 76 percent for Elementary Algebra (figure 1). In Prealgebra, pass rates climbed ten percentage points to 98 percent passing, and Elementary Algebra experienced a 14 percentage point increase, climbing to 90 percent passing.

Course pass rates before and after redesign

Figure 1. Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra Pass Rates, Traditional: Fall 2012 (n=340), Full Implementation: Spring 2013 (n=289)

Figure 1. Prealgebra and Elementary Algebra Pass Rates, Traditional: Fall 2012 (n=340), Full Implementation: Spring 2013 (n=289)

“Redesign has been a move in the right direction for our school. The students are happier and work better, and MyLabsPlus frees the teacher to work individually with each student. It has revitalized my teaching and made me excited to go to class each day.”

—Susan Twigg, Instructor, Wor-Wic Community College