Under-Prepared College Students Boost Achievement with Pearson's English MyLabs

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New report documents gains in student performance and retention

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Managing limited resources and growing numbers of students needing remedial English and composition courses, colleges and universities are showing demonstrable improvements in student performance using an innovative online learning program from Pearson, according to a new report.

The report, Vision in Action, V2, documents the gains in student achievement and retention following use of Pearson's English MyLabs, the interactive online programs for English composition, reading, writing and study skills. The MyLabs can be customized to suit each student's level of knowledge and used in any environment--lab-based, blended and distance learning or classroom. Instructors can easily create, import and manage online homework, quizzes and tests, all of which are automatically graded for instant feedback to students--freeing instructors to spend less time grading and more time working directly with their students.

"Since MyWritingLab has taken the onus of grading daily grammar work, I can concentrate more on in-class activities and writing instruction," says David Webster, an instructor at Marion Technical College near Columbus, Ohio. "I have time to observe students while we work … and I can intervene to work with students one-on-one or engage the whole class to work through an exercise together when students experience a rough 'patch.'"

At Marion Technical College, many of the students in the developmental writing courses are displaced workers who need job training skills, yet lack hands-on experience with technology. Instructor Webster chose MyWritingLab to address both needs, noting improvements in test scores, passing rates and success rates for students who advance to their first credit-bearing English course.

"One of the benefits of MyWritingLab is that, while students are working to understand grammar principles, they are simultaneously becoming competent users of rather sophisticated Web 2.0 technology," says Webster. "With MyWritingLab, students acquire--and retain--grammar skills that serve as a foundation for effective writing and success in future courses."

In addition, the English MyLabs help instructors address the individual learning challenges of students for whom English is not their first language. At Merced College in California, where many students are socio-economically underprivileged and first-generation English learners, using MyReadingLab has improved retention rates by 20 percent.

"ESL students who place into our courses have a language barrier and struggle with specific reading skills," says Merced instructor Pamela Huntington. "MyReadingLab is ideal for these students because it isolates reading strategies, presents one strategy at a time, gives abundant practice opportunities and provides feedback constantly--all at a pace the student dictates. Our ESL students realize gains quickly using MyReadingLab."

For the students in Professor Deborah Scaggs' English composition courses at Texas A&M International University, MyCompLab has led to consistently higher test scores, with significant improvement in students' focus, organization and development in addition to grammar mastery.

"MyCompLab is the perfect complement to my teaching," Professor Scaggs says. "I want to spend valuable class time focusing on writing, not lecturing on grammar concepts that some students already understand. Meanwhile, MyCompLab … helps students master the fundamentals … so that I can do what I do best--teach writing."

Other institutions profiled in the report are: California State University at Bakersfield, North Carolina Central University, Northeast State Technical College in Tennessee, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, Shelton State Community College in Alabama, Sussex County Community College in New Jersey and Valencia Community College in Florida.

The report, Vision in Action, is available at http://www.mycomplab.com/visioninaction.html.

About Pearson
Pearson, the world's leading learning company, has global reach and market leading businesses in education, business and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).

Media Contact: Susan Aspey, susan.aspey (at) pearson (dot) com or (800) 745-8489


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