The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Why did you choose alta?

I chose alta for its adaptive learning, its affordability, and its ease of use. Calculus 1 requires a large amount of prerequisite material and there is significant variability in student preparedness. It is difficult to bring up all students to the same level and to keep them there.  

How did you use alta?

The course is a traditional lecture course with some additional in-class collaborative quizzes. I use the OpenStax Calculus text. Alta is used for homework. 15% of the course grade is from alta homework, 5% from quizzes, and 80% from in-class paper exams.

How did alta impact student performance in your course?

The majority of students need a C or better in Calculus 1 for graduation and as prerequisite for other courses, which makes it a logical benchmark. Here is performance data for the semester using alta versus the prior two semesters without it.

The percentage of students who attained a grade of C or better was significantly higher for students who used alta as part of their coursework.

How effective was alta in helping your students achieve proficiency?

To measure alta’s impact on student proficiency, we analyzed the results that Andras's students achieved working in alta.

What advice would you give instructors considering adopting alta to help get them started?

The "Preview as Student" feature is a great way to see what major question types students themselves see, and it is useful to show some of those as examples in the classroom. Instructors have control over the learning objectives included in the assignments.

Knewton's 2017 Student Data Insights

To measure alta’s impact on mastery across instructors, institutions and disciplines, Knewton analyzed the results of more than 10,000 students who used alta in 2017. The high-level findings:

  • Students using alta demonstrate proficiency by completing assignments at high rates.
  • Completing alta assignments is directly correlated with better performance on summative assessments.
  • Alta provides the biggest benefit to students who need it most.