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"The Efficacy of Online Exam-Review Sessions: Reaching Both High- and Low-Performing Students " icon

The Efficacy of Online Exam-Review Sessions: Reaching Both High- and Low-Performing Students 

Teaching mathematics in a class comprised of students with varying levels of preparation and aptitude poses a significant challenge: How does one keep the top performers engaged without losing those who are struggling? In an effort to accommodate commuter students with little schedule flexibility, screencast videos made accessible on YouTube were used as means to deliver optional exam-review sessions in two pre-calculus classes. The screencasts were introduced before the second exam; thereafter, several poor performers began to score better and appeared more motivated in class. Students in both classes completed brief surveys regarding their preparation for the first two in-class exams. An analysis of survey data together with test grades showed that 55% of the students viewed the entire screencast series and that high- and low-performing students viewed the videos in equal proportions. The mean standardized grade of the student group who watched the entire video series increased significantly from the first exam to the second exam. Subsequently, in an effort to promote autonomous mathematical problem-solving skills the author experimented with videos containing embedded math exercises. Positive student feedback suggests that this type of teaching medium is beneficial to and appreciated by the motivated student.

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