Thursday, September 25, 2008

Math Courseware Part 1--Hawkes Homework System

The math department, like most departments here at Tunxis, is eager to find ways that technology can help better serve our students. Our two main ventures are the use of MyMathLab in developmental courses and the pilot of two hybrid courses beginning Sping 09. We are not moving at blazing speed, but we want to make sure that we're not falling in the trap of tech for tech's sake. The following will begin a series evaluating different course management systems. It was put together by Steve Krevisky and Cora Preibis over at Middlesex Community College. Nice work guys!

Hawkes Homework System

• Has video lesson with audio. Lesson is mostly text
• Different levels of difficulty can be chosen by student to practice
• During practice, the student can ask for hint or step-by-step explanation
• Has mastery test after completing practice
• There are no hints during mastery, but student gets immediate feedback on question
• Textbook included, and can be used as a stand-alone product
• Interactive
• Drag and drop feature
• Has online grade book
• Has online test generator; tests can be downloaded

• CD based – can be installed on home computer or network
• Lifetime license – need access code
• Has online grade book

Cost: Prealgebra – courseware and textbook $72 each.
Introductory and Intermediate Algebra $67 each
Combination Introductory and Intermediate Algebra $85 each

• Interactive and self-paced, but instructor can set due dates
• The student can have unlimited practice. He/she can choose to have a hint or see the problem worked step-by-step
• Instructor can create a diagnostics test online, and then download
• Can upload supplementary materials, such as course syllabus
• Has online grade book and progress report for student
• Focus is on mastery. The level of mastery can be changed by instructor
• There is a test generator available that can be exported into Word

• Partly web-based and partly CD based. This may be a plus for some students without computers, but would probably create some difficulties for an online course
• The student must go online to submit grade for mastery test, while all of work is done offline
• The videos are mostly text, graphics are minimal
• Perhaps mathematics not rigorous enough (did not use parentheses with multiplication of a negative number)


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