Friday, February 26, 2016

Math Lit's approach to homework: MML and more

Our goal with the Math Lit book and course is to get students to be competent problem solvers who are college ready. To get there, we wrote and sequenced problems and activities designed with that end goal in mind. But to solidify concepts, students need to practice. Heather and I had used MyMathLab for years and loved it, but knew it was best suited to skill type exercises. We wanted students to do more than that in the Math Lit course, so we created the conceptual homework in the book. It provides students with much more involved problems, not exercises. Those problems require a student to apply what they've learned in the section. But they can't do that if they don't have the base level skills. That's where MyMathLab comes in.

The two types of homework work together and were designed as such. The MyMathLab homework wasn't an afterthought or haphazardly chosen. Like the text, much thought and care went into its development so that the goals of the course could be met. It's certainly a different approach to homework but the main thing is it works. Students develop skill understanding and then extend that understanding by being challenged with more involved problems. Unlike most commercial math literacy texts, the approach we use is effective. We have seen students year after year progress in their understanding and succeed in the subsequent college level courses.

Here are some examples:

For students to be able to solve a problem like this...

...they must have skills in exponents rules.

For students to be able to solve a problem like this...

...they must have skills in the distance formula and Pythagorean theorem.

For students to be able to solve a problem like this...

...they must have skills in writing equations of lines.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Math Lit 2e sampler available!

If you would like to know more about the second edition of Math Lit, please check out the sampler below. It has an overview of the book, a list of some of the changes that have been made, an updated table of contents, and a sample section. We have made many improvements to this edition based on the feedback we got from users. In short, we listened and have worked to create a book that is simpler to use, more flexible, and more functional. Nearly every section in the first edition is included but improved, streamlined, and updated. There are also new topics, new problems, new focus problems, and new sections. If you're teaching a 4 credit hour course, the text is very easy to customize to work for your course. If you want to teach the course online, we've made that possible too. If you want to do some group work, no group work, or all group work, those options are also available.

The MyMathLab course will have many additions as well including additional focus problem packages, printable homework sets so that pages don't have to be taken out of the book, answers to book homework posted to MyMathLab instead of the text so instructors can hide them or make them available, more conceptual questions, many more videos, and online appendices to support students who need prerequisite content or intermediate algebra bridge material.

The new edition will be out in June and the MyMathLab course will be available some time this summer so that the text can be used this fall.

NOTE: The sample section shown is from the annotated instructor's edition. Blue annotated answers and instructor notes are included.