In 2014, the Cengage Learning Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics Teams set out to better understand the unmet needs of students and instructors. We interviewed, observed, surveyed, conducted usability tests, and met with thousands of students and instructors from around the country. Along the way we developed a deeper appreciation and understanding of how quantitative courses are taught and learned, the main challenges that students and instructors typically encounter, and how technology is used to accomplish course outcomes.
Our initial research revealed that today’s instructors and students in math, statistics, and physics demand more from technology than they did 20 years ago. Instructors still need a solution that helps students achieve the baseline knowledge necessary for success in the course — but without taking up precious class time. Students still need a solution that helps close their knowledge gaps without negatively impacting their final grade for the course.
81% of math instructors, 71% of physics instructors, and 66% of statistics instructors surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that many students enter their course with significant gaps in required prior knowledge.