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Phoenix Forward magazine

Math labs help students nail challenging topics

Math labs

If the idea of graphing an equation makes your head spin, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. The University of Phoenix Center for Mathematics Excellence (CME) offers live math labs — online group academic support for students struggling with specific concepts.

“We launched the session on Graphing Equations first because, according to the math instructors we polled, that was the most challenging concept for students to grasp,” says Michael Rasmussen, CME project lead.

Interested math students may visit the CME to sign up for complimentary labs facilitated by math instructors who interact with the students via WebEx® web conferencing software and a telephone line.

“During the lab, faculty members field questions from students,” Rasmussen says. “Either the faculty member or the student can work on the problem, sharing work with the group.”

The Graphing Equations lab has been offered since March, he notes, but other popular topics will go live this month, including Order of Operations, Variables and Simple Equations.

Each session lasts an hour. Students are welcome to stay as long as they want and return throughout the week. This is especially beneficial, Rasmussen points out, for those who want extra reinforcement.

He says the feedback so far has been “phenomenal." “Students go into the session really confused, and then the ones who get it often stick around for the second session and volunteer to help those who are still stuck.”

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