Using MyLab Statistics to develop a growth mindset
Over 30 years ago, American psychologist, Carol Dweck developed a theory about students' attitudes to failure after studying the behaviour of thousands of children and the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. She discovered it was possible to change a person’s mindset from fixed to growth and, when this happens, it leads to their increased motivation and achievement. (See reference below.)
MyLab digital learning tools can be used effectively as part of a growth mindset approach to teaching, and this was a recurring theme in a recent webinar hosted by Ahmed Samir, from our Digital Services Team in Dubai. Participants from across the region met Dr. Bonnie Rosenblatt, a Cognitive Psychologist and college educator of over 20 years, who teaches an online statistics course at Reading Area Community College in Pennsylvania, USA. She is a Pearson Faculty Advisor and has been teaching mathematics and statistics, using MyLab Statistics extensively since 2010. Here’s what we learned:
Dr. Rosenblatt acknowledges that many students come into class with a fear of Math or the belief that they aren’t very good at it. She encourages students to understand that through repeated practice and trying new strategies, they will get better at these subjects – and this attitude makes a big difference to learning outcomes.
MyLab Statistics is packed with engaging features to encourage students to explore their subject. MyLab’s data analysis tool, StatCrunch and applets, and Learning Catalyics are core to this.
StatCrunch includes pre-built projects across different statistical topics, with thousands of existing data sets to help students learn to interpret results and create reports. They can also easily submit their own data to immediately analyze – a great way to engage them.
The platform also includes learning resources such as videos that guide students through typical statistical analysis problems and simulation applets that help them understand topics like central limit theorem and how sampling distributions work. Correlation by Eye is an interactive GIF, that generates examples of scatter plots. Instructors simply regenerate them as many times as they want – saving valuable time. This variety of tools helps students become interested and involved in the subject – building curiosity to explore and understand.
In Learning Catalytics students use their own device to answer a variety of different question types. They can interact with their instructor and other students during in-class discussion or work remotely online when and wherever they like.
Dr. Rosenblatt explained “In a face-to-face classroom, instructors can do a little bit of teaching and then put out a question that every student is being asked to answer and it's anonymous, so students are more likely to just try. There are question types in Learning Catalytics, such as sketch, that really foster critical thinking and deeper understanding, or confidence, that helps students develop metacognition.”
She outlined how the confidence question works: “My students are being asked to think about how confident they are in their answer – and when they get the feedback, they get a sense of how accurate their feelings of surety are.” In this way, students are gaining awareness of their own progress along a learning journey.
She enthused “I like to encourage my students to use the ‘I don't understand button’ during sessions. It immediately alerts me to problems and if multiple students have said that they don't understand something, we can revisit that topic.
Building a growth mindset
Dr. Rosenblatt uses MyLab Statistics to customize her teaching plan, uploading her own media and questions, adding hints and tips to guide her students and using learning aids, like Help Me Solve This, or View an Example, to create a formative learning space where students are safe to make mistakes and correct them as many times as they like.
She uses MyLab to encourage her students to work through assignments as often as they like, building their knowledge in their own time, up to her deadline. And where they have answered incorrectly, auto grading gives them immediate feedback and direction on how to try again, with a new strategy.
She applies only small penalties for late submission and explains “I do include a late penalty, but it is small because I like to that keep in mind that my goal is to help students change their lives and meet their goals and I am trying to support their growth.”
Whenever a student submits work, MyLab generates a companion Study Plan specifically tied to the objectives in each test – guiding them to study the material that they have not yet mastered. In this way, summative assessments become formative – reinforcing Dr. Rosenblatt’s approach to building students’ growth mindset.
We’re always excited to learn how instructors across the globe are taking technology like MyLab and really harnessing its features to help them deliver learning exactly as they want to.
Want to join the 100s of instructors across the region who are tapping into the power of MyLab Statistics and our other digital learning platforms to support student success?
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