Instructors like Huimei Delgado are
able to create their own math problems
from scratch. Faculty also can upload
graphs and videos, which students find
especially useful. “Everything is in one
place,” she says. “It has a very powerful
course-managing capacity. We were able
to do online testing for students away from
Delgado and other faculty who teach
algebra, calculus and other introductory
math courses say textbook publishers
seem to produce expensive new editions
every year, often with minimal changes.
That added up to greater costs for students
and more prep time for instructors to
revise their syllabi, lectures and home-
work problems. It was time to go digital.
After all, writing fractions and formulas and concocting graphs with pencil
and paper were how many of us made it
through math classes. That changed when
the department recently approved the use
of Learning Online Network-Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach (
LON-CAPA) for four introductory courses taken
by some 5,000 students.
As a result, textbooks have been
eliminated and answers are typed into
the learning content management system.
Quizzes and tests are graded “live,” allowing instructors to monitor students’ performance in real time. And since LON-CAPA is free, department leaders estimate
that students who take these courses save
more than $1 million in aggregate over
the course of a year.