The Math Emporium — A Paradigm Shift in Teaching and Learning

This presentation was by folks from Madisonville Community College in Kentucky.

The problem is that performance by students in developmental math has remained unchanged for five years. Over 60% of enrolled new students needed math upgrading. However, what they were doing was not working. They decided to increase the likelihood of success by inverting the teaching and learning paradigm.

In the traditional math classroom you watch the professor do math in class and then go home to practice. Trouble is many students were practicing the wrong approach. The goal here is for the student to become an independent thinkers and not just replicate what the professor has done. In the ’emporium’ approach the students do the homework in class with the professor there to engage with them. The students watch video lectures at home. The goal is achieving and demonstrating mastery.

The schedule can be fixed, flexible or mixed. Most the two year colleges are fixed. The four year colleges are flexible or fixed. They off load faculty prep and grading to the technology so that faculty spend more time with the learner. They use Pearson’s MyMathLab for testing.

This model reminds me of the open lab we used to run in ABE at Interurban, coupled with the MathXL system I have developed and am currently using. Their mastery level is 80% They also recognize that these learners may have trouble completing a course in one term, so thy are awarded an MP or making progress grade. They then reregister for the next term. They can also move on to the next level as soon as they are finished one level.