Math Doesn't Have to Be a Four Letter Word

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New report documents improved performance and cost savings using Pearson's MyMathLab

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It's a huge expense for colleges and universities already hampered by declining state education funds. And it's a four letter word that strikes fear into the hearts of many students. What are we talking about? Math, of course--but it doesn't have to be this way, according to a new report about an innovative online homework and tutorial program proven to improve student performance and lower costs.

The report, Making The Grade, V.4.1, documents the gains in student achievement at more than 50 two-year, four-year and private sector colleges and universities following use of Pearson's MyMathLab. The technology is suitable for a wide range of math courses, from developmental classes through calculus.

For example, at Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee, instructors redesigned the developmental math programs using MyMathLabPlus to increase success rates and better prepare students for college-level courses. Completion rates are up 27 percent in select courses, and the technology-focused redesign has allowed the college to increase section offerings, reduce class sizes, improve schedule flexibility and reduce instructor costs to the college by 20 percent. Cleveland State's remarkable results were cited by President Obama last year during remarks on higher education.

"More than simply figures on a page, the numbers reflect an increase in student learning and student success--and an increased likelihood of graduating from college," say Karen Wyrick, Associate Professor and Math Department Chair at Cleveland State, and John Squires, Associate Professor and Math Department Chair at Chattanooga State Community College (formerly of Cleveland State).

MyMathLab can be customized to suit each student's level of knowledge and used in any environment--lab-based, hybrid, 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.

"MyMathLab enables me to easily identify students who need help, as well as those who are doing well. This is so important when my sections have over 150 students in them," says Instructor Kimberly Walters of Mississippi State University, where the average success rate has increased by 14 percentage points, the average exam score has increased by 12 points and the average withdrawal rate has been cut in half.

At Reading Area Community College, administrators have noted significant improvements in student success, including increases in the average grade point, the percentage of students earning an A, B or C and retention rates following implementation of MyStatLab.

And at the University of Houston-Downtown, where Assistant Professor Timothy Redl uses MyMathLab for his Fundamentals of Calculus with Applications course, students earn consistently higher homework scores, final exam scores and final course grades. Redl has used the technology to incrementally increase the rigor and demands of the course, including the amount of homework assigned, and the students are taking full advantage of the other online resources available, including the Video Tutor and Student Solutions Manual.

"Students seem to enjoy MyMathLab online homework more than traditional paper-and-pencil homework, and good performance on homework generally translates into improved success," says Redl. "I strongly believe that better results on MyMathLab homework assignments have led to better overall performance in the course and better understanding of the material taught."

For more information, and a complete list of the institutions profiled, visit

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(dot)aspey(at)pearson(dot)com or (800) 745-8489


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