Lehigh Carbon Community College

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

Product: MyLab Math in MyLabsPlus
Course: Mathematical Literacy
Delivery method: Emporium — computer delivery with paper-and-pencil components
Study Plan usage: Companion Study Plan

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 prerequisite function in MyLab™ Math is used to require students to earn a minimum score of 70–90%, 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 the 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. 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, Associate Professor, Lehigh Carbon Community College

How did they use the Study Plan?

LCCC breaks their Mathematical Literacy 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. Students have three attempts to earn 90% mastery on quizzes. Students requiring a second attempt are provided with a Personalized Homework to complete first, but in early semesters of the course, no prescriptive remediation was required between attempts two and three. Instead, students were directed to use the Study Plan to work until they were comfortable with retaking the quiz.

Faculty realized that students were not benefitting from this optional use of the Study Plan and, in Fall 2015, they replaced its use with a required Companion Study Plan after a second unsuccessful attempt of the quiz. Now, students are provided with multiple practice questions. When they are comfortable with the material, they complete short three-question Quiz Me assessments for each missed objective. Students must earn all mastery points on their Companion Study Plan in order to access a third attempt of the 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 A’s when compared to the traditional sequence. LCCC faculty believe this is due to the use of the adaptive learning and remediation interventions like requiring the Companion Study Plan.

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)

“MyLab Math-assigned grades were a good indication of my understanding of the concept.”

—Student, Lehigh Carbon Community College