Zoom in on Penn State: How Achieve for Precalculus & Calculus supports student academic performance

LibbyPhillips
Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Precalculus

At Penn State University, Amine Benkiran, math instructor, taught 45 students in a face-to-face course. The instructor used Achieve throughout the Fall 2021 semester. During this study, the instructor assigned homework assignments and LearningCurve adaptive quizzes.

Students found Achieve engaging and encouraging of active learning. 

  • 89% reported being engaged in the course this semester.
  • 89% reported the pre-lecture activities within Achieve as engaging.
  • 94% reported engaging in active learning in the course this semester.
  • 89% reported pre-lecture activities in Achieve helped them actively learn in the classroom.

Benkiran reported that the tools within Achieve helped them understand where their students had gaps in their knowledge and also enhanced their pedagogical framework. Students agreed:

  • 83% reported that Achieve was effective in supporting their learning over the semester.
  • 89% reported that using Achieve helped them gain a better mastery of the course content than courses without Achieve.

Ultimately, student engagement in Achieve appears to be related to student academic achievements as there was a statistically significant relationship between how many activities students finished within Achieve (as a percentage of how many were assigned in the course) and their final grade in the course. This relationship remained significant even while controlling for students reported high school GPA, p < .05.

 

Calculus

The instructor who partnered with us on this study taught 121 students across two sections of calculus in a face-to-face formatted instruction. He has taught for more than ten years. The instructor reported being somewhat comfortable implementing digital tools in this course. The instructor used Achieve throughout the Fall 2021 semester. During this study the instructor assigned homework assignments and LearningCurve adaptive quizzes.

The instructor reported observing a more than typical amount of active learning in their course and that students were moderately engaged in their class. Students also reported they found Achieve engaging and that it helped them prepare for class. 

  • 94% reported being engaged in the course this semester.
  • 88% reported engaging in active learning in the course this semester.
  • 76% reported that Achieve helped support their learning.

Both the instructor and students reported Achieve was easy to use: 97% reported they were comfortable using Achieve.

Achieve supports student comprehension of classroom material. The instructor reported that the tools within Achieve helped them understand where their students had gaps in their knowledge and also enhanced their pedagogical framework.

  • 79% reported that using Achieve helped them gain a better mastery of the course content than courses without Achieve.
  • 87% reported that homework within Achieve helped fill gaps in their knowledge.
  • 84% reported that homework within Achieve fostered deeper insights into the class content.

As in Penn State’s precalculus course, student engagement in Achieve appears to be related to student academic achievement. There was a statistically significant relationship between how many activities students finished within Achieve (as a percentage of how many were assigned in the course) and their final grade in the course. This relationship remained significant even while controlling for students reported high school GPA, p < .01.

 

For more details on the studies done in partnership with Penn State University, take a look at the white papers below! This series will continue with an in-depth look at the precalculus and calculus classes at more of the schools that participated in this study.