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Austin Community College Adds Adaptive Math Emporium

Austin Community College (ACC) in Texas has unveiled its "math emporium," where students can upgrade their math skills in preparation for college-level math courses by completing a developmental math course at their own pace through an individualized online learning platform.

ACC's math emporium is located in the college's learning center, called the ACCelerator. The ACCelerator includes more than 600 computer stations where students can participate in individualized learning and small group sessions in math and other subjects. The center also offers a variety of other student support programs and support staff.

Students at Austin Community College have the option of completing traditional developmental classes in basic math, elementary algebra or intermediate algebra, or they can opt for the self-paced option through the math emporium, which enables them to improve their math knowledge and skills as quickly or as slowly as they need.

The math emporium uses an online adaptive math program, called ALEKS, from McGraw-Hill Education. After completing an initial assessment through ALEKS to identify areas of strength and weakness, the program generates an individualized learning plan for the student. A course instructor and lab tutors are available in the math emporium to assist students as they attend mini-lectures and complete coursework through ALEKS. Students can also access ALEKS outside of the lab through their own computer or mobile device.

"Even just a few weeks into the new semester, we've already seen almost unbelievable growth in students' knowledge and understanding — and that's exactly the point," said Stacey Güney, director of the ACCelerator, in a prepared statement. "The beauty of this model is that we see students mastering what we once might have considered a semester's worth of material by the end of September."

Austin Community College and McGraw-Hill Education are demonstrating the ALEKS-powered math emporium at the 2014 Educause conference in Orlando this week at booth #411

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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