Implementation Study: Connect® Master Business Statistics – Angelo State University
Connect® Master for Business Statistics Gives Students a Personalized Learning Experience and Help When Needed
When Dr. Rex Moody began teaching Business Statistics as a summer online course, his goal was to make sure the course’s learning outcomes would be met. He has been pleased that Connect Master provides his students with a rich learning experience where they can test their knowledge, watch videos, read, and study text material and presentation slides to absorb the content in the course. Moody says that he can see a real difference in students who embrace the class and want to learn the material versus those students who just want the grade. "Those students who really want to learn have the opportunity to spend more time with the material and do better on exams. For those students not meeting desired goals, I can use reports and feedback to help get those students back on track to be successful."
Connect Master replaces a textbook, and students are presented with questions regarding the content prior to seeing the material. Connect Master determines when and where the students need help on particular concepts, and the students are given the opportunity to review course-content materials in the form of written content, presentation slides, and recorded demonstration videos. If students prefer, they can also study the material in a Library section of Connect Master prior to trying to answer questions. Because Connect Master is an adaptive learning system, it asks fewer questions if a student has mastered the material and more questions if the student still needs more help.
Moody uses the Assignment Results, Student Performance, and Item Analysis reports in Connect to help him understand how his students are doing with the course content. For example, the Assignment Results report shows him how much time students are spending on the assignments. Students are allowed to work through the assignments as many times as they would like until they are satisfied with their grade.
The Student Performance report tracks the students individually. Moody says, "You can really get a nice picture of how an individual student is doing in class and what his or her study habits for the course look like. The information provided offers more insight on a student’s classwork habits than anything else I’ve seen." He uses Item Analysis to make sure that all exam questions are fair and that students as a group are understanding the various content in the course.
The Student Details report in SmartBook helps Moody understand how student are using the materials to complete the coursework.
Moody says, "What I can really see with Connect is that the students who are engaged spend more time working with the material and preparing for exams. Those students always score higher on exams. The lower 20% of students in the class in terms of grades did not spend much time on working through the course material."
Connect Master includes a vast array of well-produced videos explaining the concepts in short, very understandable videos that is perfect for my needs.Rex Moody
The course grade is determined by the following:
40% – Exams administered within Connect (4 at 10% each)
30% – Connect Master reading assignments
30% – Connect homework
Because Connect is linked with Blackboard, the students have only one sign-in to access the course content. Moody breaks the course content out into very small chunks, covering five assignments per week, with each assignment consisting of two to three learning objectives. With the flexibility of Connect assignments, he believes dividing the content makes it easier for students to learn and study one concept at a time.
In a face-to-face class, Moody would have the students work through the study material (the Connect Master materials) prior to class and then do related problems in class. In his online classes, once students complete their review of materials, they can begin working on their homework assignments. Both the Connect Master materials and homework can be revisited as many times as a student would like prior to the exam.
The course consists of nine modules:
Module 1 – Data and the Science of Statistics
Module 2 – Describing Attributes of a Data Set
Module 3 – A Survey of Probability
Module 4 – Discrete Random Variables
Module 5 – Continuous Random Variables
Module 6 – Point Estimators and the Sample Distribution of the Sample Mean
Module 7 – Interval Estimators
Module 8 – Hypothesis Testing
Module 9 – Two Sample Procedures
For each module in the course, students are assigned Connect Master (interactive learning) assignments and homework assignments. Moody makes the due date for all material within a module the same and gives sugges ons as to what sections of the module to work on each day in the course schedule. He warns not to wait until the day the assignments are due to begin working on the homework and encourages the students to work through the material in short periods of time.
Students take four exams administered within Connect:
Exam 1 – Modules 1 – 3
Exam 2 – Modules 4 – 5
Exam 3 – Modules 6 – 7
Exam 4 – Modules 8 – 9
Additionally, Connect Master has allowed them to offer more online sections in the summer, which helps increase enrollment in these courses, since students don't need to be on campus to take the class. It also saves students money over buying a traditional textbook because everything they need is available online.
Connect Master makes it easy for students to engage in the learning process through interactive and adaptive learning tools. Students who engage with the material and complete all of the assignments succeed in the course.
Analytic tools help the instructor identify other students who aren’t engaged in the course materials; the instructor can use that information to help encourage those students to re-engage and succeed.
Moody says, "I can really see a difference in the effort and performance of the engaged student versus the non-engaged student. The feedback allows me to work with students who aren’t engaged to encourage them to do more to succeed in class."
Connect can be a valuable addition to many courses and can add a meaningful layer of learning for students.
Rex Moody joined the Angelo State University Management and Marketing Department in the fall of 2012 as an assistant professor of marketing. His primary teaching duties at ASU include upper division undergraduate and graduate-level marketing, research, and data analytics courses. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Colorado–Boulder, Central Washington University and the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Moody has won a number of teaching, advising and service awards at the universities where he has served. In addition to his 20+ years of university teaching experience, Dr. Moody spent a number of years in the advertising and public relations business in both agency and corporate settings.
Digital Product in Use: Connect® Master for Business Statistics
LMS Integration: Blackboard
Course Name: MGMT 2331 - Statistical Analysis for Business and Economics
Course Type: Online
Credit Hours: Three
Program in Use: Connect® Master for Business Statistics, by Dane McGuckian, 1E
Instructor Name: Rex Moody, Ph.D.
Enrollment: 20 students per section; 1 section; 250 year (university total)
Implementation Study Terms: Summer 2017
Instructor's implementation goals:
- Link Learning Objectives to course content
- Provide students with the opportunity to engage with course content in an interactive way
- Identify and encourage non-engaged students to learn course content
- Make students’ grades and feedback available immediately
Benefits to instructor after using Connect Master:
- Improve student engagement with interactive homework activities
- Access to reports that show where students are struggling
- Tie Learning Objectives to Learning Outcomes easily
- More graded assignments available for students with less grading time required
MGMT 2331 teaches the introduction to statistical analysis and includes topics such as: descriptive statistics, probability distributions, sampling, statistical inference, analysis of variance, and correlation and regression analysis.
Angelo State University is located in west Texas and offers over 100 majors and concentrations through our six colleges to approximately 9,600 students. The university has been ranked by The Princeton Review has one of the nation’s "Best Colleges" every year since 2010 and is affiliated with the Texas Tech University System.