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The Injustice of MyMathLab

Out of the Sandbox

By Olivia Sprouse, a letter to the editor: 

There is an online program called MyMathLab that is presumed to help the students with their academics. The idea of having assignments online seems as if it would be a solution, but through my own experience with this program, it does not benefit the students as much as one would think. MyMathLab requires more from a student than the math courses without the program.

With the MyMathLab program, there are students who cannot afford the extra fifty to seventy-five dollars for the access code to be able to complete the assigned work from their teachers. Math is also a lecture class, so the fact that students have to now purchase or use a computer in a class that they thought did not require computer usage seems inconsiderate of the college. The students are required to have the textbook, MyMathLab program, and a computer with Internet access; the cost of the supplies are putting students further in debt.

As a student, I have taken a math course with and without the new program. I am a college student taking out loans to pay for school and working about 25-30 hours a week. I am now a sophomore in college, and I am about to attain my Associates in Arts. When I went into the bookstore at my school to collect my supplies for my classes that semester, I was required to buy the package. The materials inside the package included the MyMathLab access code with the textbook. Having to obtain the package versus just the textbook raised the price of my student loans, not to mention the interest that will later be added. I was pretty lucky that I had just received a computer for college that Christmas and was living at home, so I had access to the internet, but had I not, I would have possibly had to drop the class due to MyMathLab. My teacher required the class to take the quizzes and complete the homework on the MyMathLab website. It was difficult because I felt that the teacher was teaching differently than the videos on the MyMathLab program. It seemed as if the problems I was completing was not similar to the ones my teacher was going over with the class. I struggled and my grade dropped due to the MyMathLab program, which as a student is disappointing for those who need good GPA’s for future success.

Although there are plenty of students who can accomplish their math course with MyMathLab, there are still a percentage of students who do not have the financial ability, the accessibility, or the competence to do so. Colleges should focus on aiding all students and not what works for some students.. MyMathLab should not be within the required material due to what is at risk for the students with the program. The MyMathLab program should be, at most, a supplement during lecture classes. Leave the online work for the online students.

Photo by Jeremy MikkolaFlickr Creative Commons

Originally published November 17, 2014.

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