So, classes are in session, and you’re wondering: “What on earth is this MyMathLab thing I need?”
Well, don’t worry, we can be your study buddy when it comes to learning all about MyMathLab.
The good thing for you is, here at Trickut, we’re A+ students.
There’s lots of information to know about MyMathLab before you buy it. We, and of course, you, don’t want you to spend your money on something without being an informed buyer.
Let’s take a closer look at what this popular educational tool is all about.
MyMathLab and why schools are using it
MyMathLab, or better known as Pearson’s MyMathLab, is a popular educational aid used mostly in college mathematics classes.
Pearson is an educational software company that provides many “MyLab” products under different areas of study. You may have even run into a “MyLab” product in another class.
MyMathLab is used by both educators and students to enhance the classroom experience and make the teacher’s job a bit easier.
But more on the features in the next section.
You might be confused as to why your school is even using MyMathLab instead of a traditional textbook-run class.
The main reasons for this are:
- Singularity – teachers can bring homework, tests, quizzes, and the grade book under one roof for easy access.
- Analytics – Educators can quickly analyze student performance and pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.
- Customization – Teachers can custom-build their lesson plans using either their material or the high-quality content Pearson provides. Or both!
These features on the educator side of MyMathLab make it a valuable tool for schools, and many schools have taken to implementing the software.
Features of MyMathLab
Now that you know what MyMathLab is and why your class might require it let’s look at what MyMathLab can do for us students.
Well, as we mentioned above, MyMathLab is likely where you’ll be doing most of your homework, quizzes, and some tests. The amount you’ll be using the software will vary from class to class.
However, it’s when doing homework, does MyMathLab shines the brightest for students.
MyMathLab offers quick, comprehensive feedback on problems you get wrong.
Isn’t that nice? No more doing homework by hand or on some other site and struggling to understand why it’s incorrect. When you get a problem wrong, MyMathLab will give you some helpful reminders to get you back on track.
See? Helpful reminders!
But they aren’t going to give away the answer. Pearson does want you to learn how to solve the problems.
In case you are really struggling with a problem, they’ve got something to help.
Now, this feature comes in two forms. You can ask the software to see an example problem, or you can ask the software to help you solve the problem itself.
Choosing the “See an example” option will allow you to walk step by step through a similar problem to the one you’re doing. Usually, it’s the same type of problem with different numbers.
This option lets you see what you need to do without taking away your chance to gain credit for solving it.
Talk about useful!
If you select “Help me solve this,” then the software will walk you through the problem step by step and make sure you understand what you needed to do.
It will go more in-depth than when you ask to see an example and even have you do some fill-in-the-blanks.
The difference between this option and the previous option is asking the software to help you solve a problem is going to take away your chance to gain credit for that specific problem.
So be very picky with this option since you likely want credit for your homework. Right?
Quick access to your teacher
You have two other useful tools when doing work with MyMathLab.
If you’re stuck on a problem, and you don’t want to use the “Help me solve this” option and lose credit — no worries, just ask your teacher!
That’s right. There’s an “Ask my professor” option that lets you pose a question directly to your teacher. You can use this direct-help feature just like you would be raising your hand in class.
However, response time will be entirely up to your professor, so keep that in mind.
No textbook required
Now, this title is a little misleading. What we mean is no physical textbook needed.
MyMathLab will come with an e-text included in the software for your given subject.
That’s right, no need to carry around some massive calculus textbook, it’s right there online at the click of a button.
The textbook will be neatly organized by sections that you can click on and browse whenever you’re using the program.
When doing work on MyMathLab, you can even jump straight to the section of the book that a specific problem comes from in case you need to refresh on your material.
Or, if you’re like me, read it for the first time.
Another useful note about the e-text is that it doesn’t kick you out of whatever you’re doing when you access it. It opens up in a popup window so you can have the material and your problems open side by side.
No more having to aimlessly flip through a textbook looking for that section or page you need. Jump straight to it with the MyMathLab e-text.
Pros and Cons of MyMathLab for students
Allow me to be honest with you when I say it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with MyMathLab.
I was a student and have used the software myself for multiple years, so let’s go over some of the pros and cons.
MyMathLab is an excellent tool for the disorganized. You can see all your assignments and current grades. Along with an overall grade for the tasks your professor has listed on the software.
This feature makes it enormously easy to keep track of everything as a student.
All the features involved in the homework, mentioned above, are absolute pros. Having those tools available when chugging through homework made my learning experience so much better.
It was similar to having a tutor right alongside you whenever you needed them.
Another good thing MyMathLab provided was the ability to cycle problems or make another attempt on a problem if you got it wrong.
If you ever get faced with a problem that has horrifying numbers, you can get a new problem to solve by forcing an incorrect answer or by just attempting and failing the problem.
This method not only gives you another chance to solve the problem, but you can also sort of game the system to get a more manageable set of numbers.
Despite there being lots of useful features, there are certainly some cons with MyMathLab that you should know.
First and foremost is that you’re paying for the privilege to do your homework. Naturally, the cost for access to the software is like buying a textbook since it comes with one included, but you also get locked out of doing your homework if you don’t buy it.
For those of you that could get by without a textbook or manage to get them at serious discounts, then you won’t be able to go that route here.
Another con can be the answering system. This system is not always a con, but on very rare occasions the answering system will do this:
I’ll let this speak for itself.
And yes, that is a picture I took myself. That happened to me. I found out after somebody pointed it out that I used the wrong ‘x’ character for scientific notation.
Who knew! Clearly, not me.
Other times the system will be a little wonky on decimal answers as it may not tell you what decimal point to round to. Though usually, it lets you know how many decimal points to place in your solution.
That’s primarily all there is to the negatives of the software. It is otherwise a great education tool for students and teachers alike.
How to activate and use MyMathLab
To use MyMathLab, you’re going to need some things.
Most importantly is an educator-led class. You can’t use MyMathLab as a self-study device. It needs to be connected to some kind of course.
The other things you’re going to need are a Pearson account and a MyMathLab access kit.
You can pick up an access kit on amazon. This kit will likely be much cheaper than buying it at your bookstore. At least, that was always the case for me.
Once you have your kit, simply head over to the MyLab site and register for an account if you don’t already have one.
Once you’ve made your account go ahead and log in and from there, follow the instructions provided by Pearson. You’re going to need your Course ID provided by your instructor and the access code found in your access kit.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll have access to the MyMathLab for your class! Congratulations.
So as you can tell, MyMathLab is a pretty reliable tool for us students. It only has some cons, but they aren’t big bugs that make the software unusable by any stretch of the imagination.
MyMathLab provides you with a great set of tools to learn and dig into those math classes.
We hope that you get good use out of the software during your time in class and from one student to another: Get that A!