Required Equals Results: Melissa B. Frye, University of Central Florida




“Student engagement in class has improved.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
My students are definitely more prepared for the math portions of the exams. I was so impressed with the improvement in their calculation skills. Also, I spend less time in class reviewing simple homework problems. Student engagement in class has improved as well. I also believe individual assignments ensure that students take responsibility for their own performance.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect. Next semester, I’m going to use LearnSmart and the SmartBook.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I started using online homework in 2009. Prior to that, I used group case studies.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I started immediately requiring the homework assignments as a portion of the course grade. I anticipated that if I did not require it, then the students who stood to benefit the most from it might not complete it.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
Connect is 20% of the course grade. I assign quizzes (15%) and homework (5%).


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Students are very focused on grades. If they do not perceive the assignment to be important to their grade, then many of them will not complete it. I really believe the students who need Connect the most are unfortunately the ones who will opt out of it unless it is required.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Do not be afraid to make the assignments a significant portion of students’ grades. Also, providing multiple attempts with solutions does not imply that the class average will be a 100. Connect assignments are so easy to set up and my students really appreciate the digital tool.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am now able to give individual assignments without a substantial grading burden on me.


Check out the full Required Equals Results series to hear from other instructors about their experiences.

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  December 02 2013

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