Improving Success of Online Math Students

Snip20150131_25The flexibility, convenience and growing acceptance of online distance education is creating a new trend in how college students attend classes and earn their degrees. More and more students are gravitating not just towards blended courses where they attend class lectures and participate in online learning activities, but are selecting to enroll in fully online course programs or courses where more than 80 percent of all content is delivered online, and there are typically no face-to-face meetings with instructors.

This is definitely a paradigm shift in the way students are being and will continue to be educated. But, with countless studies showing success rates in online courses of only 50 per cent—as opposed to 70-to-75 percent for comparable face-to-face classes— isn’t it time we asked ourselves some serious questions? Such as: Are students online ready? And, if not, what can institutions do to assure that students are ready to take an online course? Do institutions want to improve online math success?

Institutions need to provide students with the means to assess their strengths and provide resources for them to strengthen their weaknesses because students who are confident of their readiness are much more likely to be successful in online learning courses. According to the National Education Association (NEA), “Students who take distance education courses should receive the preparation and support necessary to enable them the function effectively in an online environment”.

eMathReady is a Student Online Readiness and Support Program which not only assesses students’ likelihood for succeeding in an online course, but also provides an indication of the degree to which an individual student possesses the attributes, skills and knowledge that contribute to success as an online learner. eMathReady also identifies the degree to which an individual student who is planning on taking an online course.
• is an independent or dependent learner,
• has good computer skills,
• has sufficient prerequisite skills,
• is able to learn how to structure learning math online to match their own learning style,
• is able to master math competencies in a set time period,
• has good organizational skills and not procrastinate,
• has better math study skills,
• has low math anxiety and not be fearful of taking math tests, and
• has good reading skills.

eMathReady is designed to empower institutions with the ability to make sure that their students who are planning on taking emporium or online math courses possess the skills and attributes necessary for success. The program not only assist institutions with identifying the students who are likely not to be successful, it provides remediation and support so the at-risk students can improve.