Delgado Community College FOCUS:
Anatomy & Physiology
This case study was conducted by Wiley to examine the efficacy of WileyPLUS with ORION among an instructor and her students in an Anatomy & Physiology course. To inform the study, an interview was conducted with instructor Amanda Rosenzweig who taught four classes using WileyPLUS with ORION last semester. This semester, she teaches three classes using WileyPLUS with ORION, totaling 120 students over the course of two semesters. Professor Rosenzweig uses online, hybrid, and face-to-face formats to teach the course where she uses WileyPLUS with ORION. Why Adaptive Learning Software? Adaptive Learning gives instructors the flexibility to reach students that arrive to class with varying levels of proficiency and learn at different paces. Professor Rosenzweig requires students to complete selfpaced practice assignments in ORION, and her approach depends on the type of course she is teaching. ORION can be assigned at the chapter level and allows students to engage in targeted practice and study sessions. Assignment Approaches For the face-to-face course, she covers a topic in class and then assigns homework in ORION to reinforce the concepts students learned in class. They have two days to complete the assignment. Once complete, Professor Rosenzweig reviews how the students performed, gauging which topics they understood and which topics they had difficulty with so that she knows what to review in class. These assignments are worth 5% of their grade. A very easy way to gauge which topics are most problematic is to use “The Most Challenging Activities” report and “View by Objectives” (fig. 1). In a hybrid course, ORION helps to reinforce good time management skills, and also helps students review topics and concepts they find most challenging. Professor Rosenzweig can then build other assignments based on this feedback. For online courses, Professor Rosenzweig uses assignments to help reinforce time management. Students have one week to do the reading and a chapter-level assignment in ORION, in addition to other assignments that they have that week. The ORION coursework is 5-7% of the whole course grade.
Instructor Insights The greatest value to instructors is in the remediation. ORION helps instructors figure out where students are struggling, and adaptive learning has the ability to bring students right to the content they are struggling on without having to go through all of the content to try to figure out what they don’t know. ORION does the work for them by pinpointing the specific areas that need further reinforcement.
“Yes, I would recommend ORION to another instructor. In fact, most of the other instructors in my department are already using it.”
ORION influences what instructors teach, honing in on which topics need more reinforcement. Because the adaptive learning system can highlight what students do not understand, it is easy for instructors to review those topics in class. In an online course, ORION can point learners back to the exact content that they need to review. Overall, ORION helps instructors to diagnose student strengths and weaknesses and be able to quickly remediate. Student Benefits Based on cognitive science, ORION provides students with a personalized, adaptive learning experience so they can build their proficiency on topics and use their study time most effectively. The more students participate in the adaptive learning system, the more they get out of it. Once they are comfortable navigating the system, students will spend more time with the material, which also results in an awareness of the topics they are struggling with. This insight helps them connect their problem areas to the course material, which in turn increases their exposure to it so that they end up learning more. With ORION, students are more involved in their learning experience because they understand what it is that they don’t know. Plus, ORION has more questions than other adaptive learning systems. The more questions students engage with, the more opportunities they get to build foundational knowledge. What the Data Shows Professor Rosenzweig submitted Wiley course scores, and the ORION data showed that students who were using ORION did better on their tests and also in the class overall. The graph below represents average test scores of Professor Rosenzweig’s students who used WileyPLUS with ORION, compared to those who did not, over the course of the Fall 2013 semester (fig. 2). fig. 2