OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Friday, October 13 • 4:00pm - 4:25pm
Using WeBWork to Support Student Success in Mathematics

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Faculty often reject OER materials if they lack online homework support systems and other ancillary materials that support student success and save faculty time. Fortunately high quality ancillary OER materials exist. We'll give two examples, using WeBWork, an open-source online homework system for math and science courses supported by the MAA and NSF, and apps from Rice University and others, in basic statistics and calculus courses.

Elementary statistics involves the use of sophisticated reasoning, but students are not required to know any college-level math prior to entering the course, so materials must be carefully chosen that support students intuitive understanding of the content. Students also need to practice newly acquired skills, and receive rapid feedback on this practice, but faculty often lack the time to give students adequate feedback. Online learning resources and homework systems offered by textbook publishers can provide students and instructors with tools to address these concerns, but they are prohibitively expensive for many students. We assembled a completely free package, similar to what is available from publishers, using a combination of an OER textbook, WeBWork homework assignments, and freely available applets to help students understand key ideas.

Students often enter calculus courses without skills that are essential for success in the course. Instructors often try to remedy this by spending time at the beginning of the course reviewing these skills. This takes time away from calculus, and is often not effective to remediate missing skills. We will present an alternative, using daily, online Just-In-Time (JIT) review. JIT assignments include existing videos combined with short WeBWork assignments to help students review critical skills immediately before they are needed in class.


George Jennings

Professor, CSU, Dominguez Hills

Sharon Lanaghan

Professor, CSU, Dominguez Hills

Friday October 13, 2017 4:00pm - 4:25pm PDT
Royal C - F