MyLab Management educator study observes the use of simulation exercises at Delgado Community College

EDUCATOR STUDY

MyLab Management educator study observes the use of simulation exercises at Delgado Community College

Key Findings

  • Students who earned above average MyLab homework scores also earned higher average exam and final course scores.
  • Data indicate a very strong correlation between MyLab homework assignment scores and exam scores.
  • 96 percent of students responding to an end-of-semester survey agreed that the simulations in MyLab helped them practice decision-making skills and apply the chapter content to a real-world business challenge

School name
Delgado Community College, New Orleans, LA

Course name
Human Resource Management

Course format
Online

Course materials
MyLab Management with Fundamentals of Human Resource Management by Dessler

Timeframe
Fall 2016

Educator
Mark McLean, Assistant Professor

Results reported by
Candace Cooney, Pearson Customer Outcomes Analytics Manager

Setting

  • Locale: Large, urban, two-year public community college with campuses throughout the New Orleans area. One of nine community colleges in the Louisiana Community and Technical College system.
  • Enrollment: more than 18,000 students
  • Full-time: 42 percent
  • First-time, full-time: 45 percent
  • Full-time retention rate: 57 percent
  • Graduation rate: 10 percent
  • Student-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Age 24 and under: 49 percent
  • Gender: 67 percent female
  • Minority: 67 percent

About the Course

Mark McLean has a 20-year corporate background in professional services at Deloitte, started teaching at Delgado Community College as a part-time adjunct in 2009, and is currently teaching full-time. He teaches a variety of business courses including Human Resource Management which has an annual enrollment of approximately 150 students. This one-semester, three-credit course is required of all Human Resource/Leadership Concentration students and is an approved elective for other business concentrations. Approximately 50 percent of the students are in a two-year terminal program while the other 50 percent of students intend to pursue a four-year degree. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management is the study of issues, trends, and problems, such as recruiting, motivation, communication, leadership, and human resources development.

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the responsibilities of and identify the competencies necessary for an effective Human Resource Manager;
  • Identify the major pieces of Equal Employment Opportunity legislation and describe types of sexual harassment and discrimination, including how employers should respond to complaints;
  • Identify techniques in job analysis and classification, and define and identify types of training; and
  • Describe employee rights and the main issues of employee discipline, including due process.

Challenges and Goals

McLean wanted to offer his students a robust learning experience, but lacked the time and tools necessary to create the kind of digital content that would allow students to connect theory with application and engage with their own learning. Offering Human Resource Management online created another challenge, as students with varied learning styles would be taking the course without the benefit of face-to-face interaction and instruction.

McLean found that the variety of assignments in MyLab™ Management offered visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners multiple options for learning the course content, and the assortment of exercises challenged students to fully understand the concepts so they would be responsible for their own learning and success. McLean adopted MyLab approximately five years ago to offer his students more than just the physical classroom experience. Believing that today’s students are proficient at using digital content, he hoped to offer students a wide-ranging, all-encompassing course experience.

Implementation

MyLab Management is required; the program is used primarily by students working at home on a personal computer or in a school lab, library, etc. Students use MyLab for understanding content, homework assignments, and assessments. McLean’s goals for assigning work in MyLab are to introduce new concepts, provide homework and practice opportunities, and to help students assess their own understanding of the course material. McLean anticipates that students will spend approximately 2–3 hours per week working in MyLab, which may include reading the eText, watching videos, and completing assignments. Based on results of a voluntary, end-of-semester survey (88 percent response rate), 43 percent of students said they spent 2–3 hours using MyLab and another 43 percent of students indicated they spent more than three hours using MyLab.

McLean integrates the MyLab course with Canvas, the Learning Management system used at Delgado, to make things easier for both he and his students.

  • Grade transfer: grades are easily transferable from MyLab to Canvas and there is one single gradebook for the course;
  • Single sign-in process: students are ready to work in MyLab on the first day of class; and
  • Content linking: ability to link to MyLab directly from Canvas.

McLean’s students now have just one access code and a single sign-in process in lieu of separate log-ins and passwords for both Canvas and MyLab. In the end-of-semester survey, students shared the following:

  • 96 percent of respondents agreed that they were able to access MyLab through Canvas and appreciated not needing a second, separate login for MyLab.
  • 100 percent of respondents agreed that the sign-in and registration process for MyLab was simple and fast through Canvas.

Following a Pearson best practice, McLean requires students to complete the Chapter 0 Getting Started with MyLab assignment by the end of the first week of class. This assignment shows students the types of questions they will be answering and how to respond to them in MyLab. McLean reports that students generally have fewer questions about MyLab functionality after completing this exercise and have more confidence completing future assignments. Additionally, students complete a syllabus quiz during the first week. McLean’s syllabus is set up in weekly increments in a columnar format to clearly show students how and what they will learn:

  • Column 1 identifies the chapter and topics being covered along with the associated learning outcomes.
  • Column 2 describes the learning activities and assignments that are required each week, showing students how they will learn. This includes reading the text, reviewing PowerPoint slides and learning objectives, completing assignments, and engaging in class discussions.
  • Column 3 outlines the learning assessments, tests, and exams where students will demonstrate their knowledge.

McLean creates his online MyLab course using a variety of assignments to foster learning outside the classroom, including:

  • Video assignments: ‘Watch It’ and ‘Think Like a Manager’ videos explore a variety of business topics related to the theory students are learning and assess students’ comprehension of the concepts covered in each video. Videos are less than ten minutes in length and students have one attempt at completing a five-question, multiple-choice quiz that follows.
  • Decision Making Mini-Simulations: Mini-simulations put McLean’s students in the role of manager as they make a series of decisions based on a realistic business challenge. The simulations change and branch based on their decisions, creating various scenario paths and strengthening critical thinking skills. Each simulation takes about 15–20 minutes to complete and students have one attempt.
  • Quizzes: students complete a 20-question, multiple-choice quiz each week in MyLab. The quiz is a capstone assessment of the students’ knowledge and understanding of the chapter content, and includes three types of questions: recall, apply, and analyze. Quizzes are not timed and students have one attempt at completion.

On the end-of-semester survey, students reported the following about MyLab assignments:

  • 96 percent of respondents agreed that the video exercises in MyLab helped them visualize the chapter contents in action.
  • 96 percent of respondents agreed that the simulations in MyLab helped them practice decision-making and apply the chapter content to a real-world business challenge.
  • 96 percent of respondents agreed that the detailed report of their choices at the end of the simulation exercises allowed them to see the consequences of the business decisions they made.

Additional summative assessments in MyLab include a mid-term exam covering the first five chapters in the textbook and a final exam that is not cumulative. Each exam includes approximately 60 multiple-choice questions and several short-answer essays. Exams are not timed, but students must complete the exam once it has been opened in MyLab.

Assessments

  • 70%     MyLab assignments and Canvas quizzes
  • 30%      MyLab exams (2)

Results and Data

Figure 1 is a correlation graph; correlations do not imply causation but instead measure the strength of a relationship between two variables, where r is the correlation coefficient. The closer the positive r value is to 1.0, the stronger the correlation. The corresponding p-value measures the statistical significance/strength of this evidence (the correlation), where a p-value <.05 shows the existence of a positive correlation between these two variables.

  • A very strong positive correlation exists between average MyLab homework scores and average quiz scores where r=.80 and p<.05.

For students, the formative MyLab homework is intended to help them identify where they are in terms of successfully completing the summative assessments; it appears that performance on these assignments could be a leading indicator of course success (additional research is needed to develop and test this concept further). McLean asserts that the MyLab assignments add to the student learning experience and ultimately increase their level of understanding.

Correlation between MyLab homework scores and average exam scores

Figure 1. Correlation between Average MyLab Homework Scores and Average Exam Scores, Fall 2016 (n=32)

Students were divided into two groups based on their average total MyLab assignment score. Students who earned a MyLab score above average also earned higher exam scores and final course scores than students who scored below average on MyLab assignments (figure 2).

  • Students scoring above average on MyLab assignments earned average exam scores 21 percentage points higher than students who scored below average.
  • Students scoring above average on MyLab assignments earned final course scores 29 percentage points higher than students who scored below average.
  • 68 percent of students scored above the MyLab average assignment grade.

Relationship between MyLab assignment score and exam and final course scores

Figure 2. Relationship between MyLab Assignment Score and Average Exam and Final Course Scores, Fall 2016 (n=32)

The Student Experience

Responses from the Fall 2016 end-of-semester, voluntary survey of McLean’s students indicate that the majority of responding students recognize the value of MyLab Management.

  • 100 percent of students strongly agree or agree that their understanding of the course material increased as a result of using MyLab.
  • 100 percent of students strongly agree or agree that the use of MyLab positively impacted their quiz scores.
  • 100 percent of students strongly agree or agree that they would recommend MyLab to another student.

Student survey responses to the question, “What did you like most about MyLab?” include:

  • This was a useful tool throughout the semester that reinforced information that I read in the textbook.”
  • “The program was perfect and helped me accomplish my goals.”
  • The Watch It videos helped me to better understand the course material.”
  • “MyLab Management really did help me understand the material better by using interactive assignments.”
  • “It was very easy to learn to use and navigate, and I think it was such a convenient way to improve the course.”

Conclusion

As McLean sought to offer his students a more digitally-enriched course, he adopted MyLab Management for the variety of resources and assessments it offered. Online students have diverse learning options to choose from in MyLab, including videos, simulations, and critical thinking assignments, to meet their wide-ranging learning styles. McLean stated, “MyLab allows my students to experience the course content in various ways”, achieving what he had hoped to when he adopted the program.