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Guest Post: MyOMLab Provides Demonstrated Learning

March 13, 2014

LAFishOur Guest Post today comes from Dr. Lynn A. Fish, who is Professor of Management at Canisius College.

As the educational world continues to add more online elements, I remained skeptical of the educational value and security issues associated with these systems. However, when it became obvious that students were merely copying homework from one another and I faced a course overload, it became clear that something radical needed to be done. While one can argue for or against the need for homework, I’ve always been a proponent of using it. So, I blindly entered the world of online homework in fall 2011. As a ‘techno-jinx’, I held my breath waiting for trouble to break out. It didn’t!  Students seemed to adapt to it with very little difficulty.

Over the past 6 semesters, I have surveyed students on course specifics including MyOMLab homework. The majority indicate that MyOMLab is easy to use or they are able to overcome the minor issues. The most common minor issues students cited are rounding and decimal issues. From my standpoint, using MyOMLab allows each student to have different problems (algorithmic setting), requires less time for grading, and gives students immediate feedback. The ability to review each student’s assignment is available, but I find it unrewarding and time intensive to review. However, when a student is struggling, I can assist him with a particular problem from virtually anywhere in the world.

As a skeptic, I wondered whether the MyOMLab system offered educational value. After asking for student permission, I analyzed the relationship between MyOMLab and in-class performance. At an overview level, mild to moderate correlation exists. When analyzing further, there is definitely learning occurring through the MyOMLab system – at the scaffold level.

In conclusion, through student surveys, I’ve surmised that they find the MyOMLab acceptable, and through my own analysis, I’ve concluded that learning is in fact occurring. End result: win-win!

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jay Heizer permalink
    March 17, 2014 4:24 am

    Having spent many thousands of hours over the last decade learning, innovating, testing, and perfecting online teaching techniques with Pearson, I can testify that the rounding and decimal issues were, as Lynn suggests, a challenge. The issue is interesting because some students solve the problems with pen and pencil, some with calculator, some with Excel, and some with software. As a result, minor differences may occur in the answer. However, I think we now have a very clean product, and as Lynn notes we have enhanced student learning. (I’m always pleased to receive any and all suggestions for improvement. )

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