BOSTON, February 15, 2010—Professor Scott Hildreth has spent years teaching engineering students about physics and astronomy. He says America’s colleges and universities should do more to prepare students for science-related careers.
“We need to be teaching with 21st Century tools,” says Professor Hildreth. “We need to be able to create the world first for our students in our classrooms that matches their real world—that’s online, that’s instantaneous, that’s tailored to their needs, that’s flexible, that’s relevant.”
Professor Hildreth, who teaches at Chabot College near San Francisco, prepares his students using a unique online homework and tutorial program from Pearson called Mastering. The Mastering programs personalize science and engineering learning with tutorials that provide immediate feedback and targeted help where and when students need it the most. Students learn at their own pace, in their own style, while educators are able to monitor student progress and communicate with their students online to keep them engaged and accountable for their work.
A video preview of Mastering is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u2P47LUHD0.
“To try to describe the earth going around the sun with words alone, or try to describe the tilt of the earth to account for seasons, or to describe how galaxies are racing away from one another … does not necessarily capture student learning,” Professor Hildreth says. “An online tool taking full advantage of web capabilities really gives students a very powerful learning environment.”
The Mastering programs free faculty to spend more time working with their students, notes Professor Troy Wood, who teaches chemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
“I have the information from Mastering that tells me where students’ strengths are, where students’ weaknesses are. And I can tailor my lectures accordingly,” says Professor Wood.
“A lot of people are intimidated by courses like chemistry and bio, the big sciences. This has helped a lot,” adds Magdalena Bax, a student at SUNY-Buffalo.
Colleges and universities have seen increases in student performance using the Mastering programs. For example, after using MasteringPhysics, students make 15 percent fewer errors and solve problems 15 percent faster. And with MasteringChemistry, students have increased their exam scores by 12 percent.
“My test scores have been higher because I understand the material a lot better,” says Angelo Threats, a student at SUNY-Buffalo.
“It’s a tremendously empowering tool,” says Professor Hildreth. “It helps me teach better and it helps the students learn better.”
Mastering is available in a range of subjects, including biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, microbiology and astronomy. For more information, visit www.pearsonhighered.com/mastering.
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