Ivy Tech Community College

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

Product: MyLab Statistics
Course: Business Statistics
Delivery method: Fully online
Study Plan usage: Optional, personalized based on homework performance

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 in order to step students through the course and ensure mastery of objectives.

“These results show that the MyLab Statistics course is doing what I structured it to do. 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 the Study Plan?

Spear assigns quizzes, homework, the Study Plan, and tests in MyLab Statistics. The Study Plan acts as a personal tutor, updating in real time based on student performance to provide personalized recommendations on what they should work on next. In Spring 2015, Spear began to require that students submit their chapter homework assignment before working in the Study Plan because he felt that his Fall 2014 class spent too much time in the Study Plan and not enough time on the chapter homework, resulting in low homework grades. If a student does not earn a 70% or higher on the homework, the system then directs them to the Study Plan for practice on trouble areas. Once students obtain a 70% or better on that chapter’s homework, they take the chapter test.

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 and results show that students in Spring 2015 achieved overall grades that were 28 percentage points higher than the previous semester t(19)=-3.92, p<0.05. The graph here 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)

“This course, for me, was very much about the application of the information gained from statistical analysis, and I feel that I have succeeded in understanding those concepts beyond simply plugging the numbers into formulas for a correct answer.”

—Student, Ivy Tech Technical Community College